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1 Dead, 3 Missing in Singapore's 'Worst Ever' Naval Accident - 2003-01-05


Rescuers searched Sunday for three women sailors still missing after a Singapore navy ship collided with a Dutch-registered merchant vessel. The body of one sailor has been found. Authorities think the body of one of the missing may have washed up at a nearby Indonesia resort.

The collision between the anti-submarine patrol boat and the cargo carrier off Malaysia's east coast is being called the worst accident in Singapore's naval history.

The R.S.S. Courageous has been towed to its port and lifted out of the water, showing the collision late Friday night ripped off nearly a third of the 460-ton boat. The quarters where four women crewmembers were sleeping when the accident happened is a mass of compressed metal.

The Dutch-registered A.N.L. Indonesia, involved in the collision, suffered minor damage. The 52,000-ton cargo ship dwarfed the Courageous.

"The people on board were doing their operational duties," said Deputy Defense Minister Tony Tan. "It was a routine mission."

Navy divers found the body of 22-year-old Go Hui Ling, lodged between the bunks of the women's sleeping quarters.

The Defense Ministry also said on Sunday that the body of a woman found at a nearby Indonesian resort may be one of the missing sailors. Rescue workers continue to search the eastern Singapore Strait, where the accident happened.

Eight male sailors also were slightly injured.

Defense officials have not said what led to the accident.

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