Search This Blog

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Skipper, crew member of missing catamaran found safe, search for Chinese tourists continues

KOTA KINABALU - A boat skipper and a crew member of a catamaran reported missing with 28 Chinese tourists yesterday have been found safe near Pulau Tiga in Kuala Penyu, about 50km south of Mengalum.

A tour company taking part in the search effort was said to have found them at 2pm. The fate of the Chinese tourists and another crew member were still unknown.

Sabah's Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) deputy director of operation Captain Rahim Ramli said the could not provide official confirmation on the find and were getting more details on the matter.

"We received a report that two people have been found by a tour company that was conducting the search.

"However, I cannot confirm this until we meet and speak to them," he said when contacted.

The catamaran boat carrying 28 Chinese tourists, a skipper and two crewmembers had sailed out from a jetty in Tanjung Aru here to Pulau Mengalum at 9am yesterday.

They however failed to return and MMEA received a distress call on the disappearance late last night.

The Chinese consulate in Kota Kinabalu has urged the state government to step up the search and rescue effort.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the relevant authorities are stepping up their search for the missing passengers and crewmembers.

"I have directed the search and rescue mission to utilise spotter planes to improve the chances of finding the missing boat and those on board," he said.

"I am told that the MMEA, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Marine Operations Force have mounted an operation involving a coverage area spanning 400 sq miles.

"The authorities are doing their level best to find them. I know this a difficult time for the families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them," he said.

He also said that boat operators should exercise greater caution when taking out people to sea especially during rough weather condition.

Related news ...................................................

Malaysian boat carrying 28 Chinese tourists sunken, survivors wait for rescue

A missing boat carrying 28 Chinese tourists has been found sunken off Malaysia's Sabah state on North Borneo, and multiple survivors were reported drifting at sea waiting for rescue, China's consulate general's office in Kota Kinabalu said Sunday.

The boat went missing on Saturday after sailing from Kota Kinabalu, the state capital, to Pulau Mengalum, a popular tourist island some 60 km to the west. Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said the boat was carrying 31 people.

China's consulate office, citing reports from Malaysian authorities, said the boat has sunk in waters near Pulau Mengalum. The skipper and one of the crew left to look for help, while the passengers and the remaining crew member stayed together to wait for rescue.

The consulate office said the search and rescue operation was still ongoing. Malaysian authorities said earlier the joint rescue effort by the maritime enforcement agency, navy and airforce was hampered by bad weather.

No comments:

Post a Comment