JOHOR BARU: The search and rescue (SAR) operation for six crew of the tanker MT Putri Sea which went missing when it caught fire and sank near Pengerang, Thursday, was ended yesterday.

Southern Maritime Region (Operations) deputy director Maritime Captain Sanifah Yusof said the operation ended at 7pm because there was no indication on the missing crew.

“The MMEA Southern Maritime Region via the the Johor Baru Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRSC) had conducted a SAR to find the six crew of the tanker MT Putri Sea which went missing after it caught fire and sank on June 15.

“The four-day operation until June 18 (yesterday) covered a search area of almost 45 nautical square miles and along the Pengerang coast,” he said via a statement here today.

Sanifah said the operation involved more than 50 officers and personnel of various agencies including the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), Marine Operations Force (MOF), Fire and Rescue Department and Malaysian Civil Defence Force.

He said the operation was also aided by Singapore and Indonesia to find the crew in their respective waters, but were futile.

He said the SAR would be reactivated if there was a report on the location of the crew.

“Although the SAR is ended, the operation to clean up the oil spill is still going on, co-ordinated by the Malaysian Marine Department and assisted by the Department of Environment, MMEA and other related agencies,” he said.

Early on Thursday morning, six Indonesian crew went missing after the tanker blew up and was believed to have sunk at 4.6 nautical miles south west of Tanjung Pengelih, near Pengerang.

The crew were Akhmad Faharuddin, 35; Muhamad Heri Hernanda, 28; Abdur Rahem, 31; Rendy Alamanda, 28; Sulkifli, 39, and Yohanis Sumari, 35.

MT Puteri was believed to be carrying crude oil and was registered at Malabo Port, Equatorial Guinea.

The report on its disappearance was received from the Singapore Police Coast Guard (SPCG) at 5am after the ship’s agent failed to contact it.

Yesterday, RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarlzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said KD Perantau detected an underwater object which was believed to be the sunken tanker MT Putri Sea using Multi-Beam Sonar. — Bernama



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