Marine cops issue haze alert for ships plying Straits of Malacca


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 24 Jun 2004

MUAR: All ships plying the Straits of Malacca have been advised by the southern region marine police to navigate with utmost care because of the haze. 

Muar marine police chief ASP Abdul Salam Abdul Halim said visibility, especially at night, had dropped to less than 10m at certain areas off Malacca and visibility at certain parts near Tanjung Tohor was less than 5m. 

“We urge all ships plying the Malacca Straits, especially barter-trading vessels crossing the waterways, to put on navigational lights. 

“The haze over the straits, especially at night and early morning is very bad,” he said after a check on the situation between Malacca and Tanjung Tohor yesterday. 

ASP Abdul Salam said fishermen should also be careful and if possible, avoid going into the open sea, especially after dark. 

He said the haze was so thick on Tuesday that it took his patrol boat more than two hours to reach Pulau Undan from here, when it normally takes less than an hour. 

He said coastal fishermen in small boats should avoid going to the open sea and try to fish near the coast as they could get lost.  

He said even experienced marine policemen on small patrol craft could not find their way back to the Muar jetty after checking the haze between here and Parit Jawa late on Tuesday. 

“We want ships passing the Malacca Straits to heed all navigational regulations and put on navigational lights all the time until the situation improves,” he added. 

In Petaling Jaya, the Department of Civil Aviation said there have not been any flight disruptions due to the haze. 

“So far, there have not be any cancellations, rescheduling or diversions,” its director-general Datuk Kok Soo Chon said. 

He said the visibility at airports still allowed flights to take off and land.  

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