SIBU, Sept 6 — Quick response saved eight crew members from going down with their cargo vessel in an incident that occurred during a storm at sea, about 17 nautical miles off Bintulu Port yesterday.
Acting Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Bintulu Zone director Commander Maritime Effendy Mohamed Fadil said the eight men who are foreign nationals were later rescued by MMEA personnel with assistance from local fishermen nearby.
“Bintulu Maritime Zone Operations Centre received a report about the incident at 9.50am (yesterday), which prompted the activation of a search-rescue operation involving two MMEA assets — the KM Jepak and Lightning Boat 44.
“The Indonesians crew aged between 20 and 71, are in stable condition without any injuries.
“It is learnt that they managed to deploy a life raft after realising that their vessel was sinking — likely due to damage caused by the storm,” said Effendy.
Adding on, he said all the Indonesians would be referred to a health centre for Covid-19 screening.
“This is to eliminate the possibility of a new (Covid-19) outbreak from foreigners.
“They would be handed over to the relevant authorities for further action.”
Effendy said on behalf of the MMEA, he expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the maritime community in Bintulu involved in the rescue operation yesterday.
“I also call upon the maritime community, especially in Bintulu to prioritise safety while at sea by always wearing life jackets in view of the inclement weather around this time,” he added.
MMEA Bintulu always welcomes information from the maritime community on any activity that may be against maritime laws.
The agency can be reach at MERS 999 line, 082-432 544 (Sarawak Maritime Operations Centre) or 086-314 254 (Bintulu Maritime Zone Operations Centre). — Borneo Post Online