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Austrian Captain vanishes in Indian Ocean

A ship captain from Laa an der Thaya in Mistelbach in Lower Austria has vanished while en route with a container ship to Malaysia.

The 61-year-old who was described as an experienced captain was last seen on 20 November. When he didn't turn up for duty the next day a search was made of the ship and it was discovered that he was missing.

The ship turned round and started a search for the missing man, but there was no sign of him and eventually it continued on its way from Port Louis in Mauritius.

Police in Malaysia have already questioned the 20 strong crew about the disappearance but a spokesman for the German company that operates the ship said that anything other than an accident could be ruled out.

They believe that the captain who was an experienced seaman had probably either suddenly fallen overboard after suffering from a spell of dizziness or had been climbing somewhere and lost his balance.

Company spokesman Svante Domizlaff said: "Ther is no other explanation available."

The missing man was captain of the 184 meter long container ship the "Santa Felicita".

He had more than 12 years experience in the job.

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