Singapore seeks permission to conduct rescue ops

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore has asked for permission from Malaysia to launch search and rescue operations for the three missing crewmembers of the republic’s warship RSS Courageous following a collision with a container ship off Pulau Batu Putih on Friday. 

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia had granted permission to Singapore to carry out the operations. 

“Singapore also asked for permission to use helicopters and ships of the Malaysian Armed Forces yesterday morning and last night for the search and rescue operations. 

“We have given permission,” he told Bernama yesterday. 

FRANTIC SEARCH: Singapore Navy rescuers searching for the three missing crewmembers in Malaysian waters off Pulau Baut Putih (in the background) Sunday. - Picture courtesy of The Straits Times

The RSS Courageous, an anti-submarine vessel of the Singapore navy, collided with the Dutch registered ANL Indonesia at 11.35pm on Friday, about 1.8 nautical miles from Pulau Batu Putih. 

The rear of the 55m RSS Courageous was shorn off and its sleeping quarters and engine room were crushed.  

Eight of the 44 crewmembers suffered minor injuries.  

A second female Singaporean naval officer was confirmed dead yesterday and two others were still missing. 

Singapore’s defence ministry issued a statement late yesterday confirming the body of a Chinese woman found earlier in the day on the Indonesian island of Bintan was that of one of the four naval officers trapped on board the naval ship when the accident occurred on Friday. 

The ministry identified her as 1st Sergeant Heng Sock Ling, aged 24.  

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