While a tug was towing an unladen barge, about 12nm NE of Sabah Coast, Malaysia, four armed persons in a speed boat approached it and opened fire.

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As a result, the Master was shot in the leg, while alarm was raised and a distress message sent on VHF Ch 16.

A Royal Malaysian Police boat responded and took the injured Master to hospital. The remaining crew are safe.

According to local media, when the pirates started shooting, one of the crew members, on the third floor of the boat, fired around 10 shots from flare guns at the suspects. This led them to flee by diving into the water. After that the went back on their speed boat and left.

The police are now investigating the incident, while they also want to know if the suspects later robbed another ship.