Home > News > Nation
Wednesday September 11, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday September 11, 2013 MYT 6:48:24 AM
by zuhrin azam ahmad, syed azhar, AND nelson benjamin
Safe and sound: Nasir (centre) with Mohammad Sabrie (left) and Mohd Ramdhan at Tok Bali.
PUTRAJAYA: The two Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) personnel who went missing off Kelantan for two days while aboard a Vietnamese fishing vessel have been found safe and sound.
Mohammad Sabrie Sahibul, 24, from Kunak, Sabah, and Mohd Ramdhan Hizam, 22, from Pontian, Johor, were found onboard the vessel by Malaysian fishermen some 75 nautical miles (140km) off Tok Bali at about 8am yesterday.
Two Vietnamese crew members of the vessel were also with them.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the vessel was believed to have encountered engine problems and had drifted away soon after it was stopped by the MMEA for an inspection on Saturday.
“The two personnel as well as the Vietnamese men were transferred to MMEA ship KM Tatau and returned to Tok Bali jetty.
“The officers are in high spirits despite going through some very rough weather conditions when the ship developed engine problems.
“Their weapons are also still with them,” he told a press conference at the MMEA headquarters here yesterday, adding that the seized vessel had been towed to Tok Bali jetty.
In Saturday’s incident, both officers were on an MMEA vessel KM Ligitan, which had detained the Vietnamese vessel, with seven crewmen onboard, for encroaching on Malaysian waters, some 100 nautical miles (185km) off Tok Bali.
Just as they were taking the fifth foreign fishermen into custody, they spotted another Vietnamese vessel entering the area.
Mohammad Sabrie and Mohd Ramdhan were ordered to secure the boat with the two remaining fishermen while KM Ligitan pursued the second vessel.
When KM Ligitan called off the chase and returned later, the first Vietnamese vessel had gone missing together with the two personnel. A search operation was immediately launched.
The spot they were found yesterday is some 30 nautical miles (55km) from the location they were last seen and about 36.8 nautical miles (68km) from Vietnam waters.
The area where the incident occurred is a favourite fishing ground for fishermen from Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Sabrie and Mohd Ramdhan were welcomed at the East Region MMEA headquarters at Tok Bali by MMEA personnel led by chief enforcement officer and commander Datuk Nasir Adam.
They were quickly whisked away into the headquarters for a health check without speaking to members of the media present.
At a press conference later, Nasir declined to provide more details of the incident, except to thank those who had helped to rescue the two officers.
Soothing words from lost-and-found MMEA man
Tags / Keywords:
Government, Courts & Crime, mmea/ vietnamese fishing vesse/ shahidan kassiml
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)