Two fishermen rescued nine hours after boat capsizes off Johor

KOTA TINGGI: Two fishermen were rescued nine hours after their boat sank near Tanjung Sedili here.

Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency(MMEA) director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the boat used by the two fishermen capsized after being hit by strong waves at about 10.45pm on Sunday (Aug 16), 4.3 nautical miles north-east of Tanjung Sedili Kechil.

“The Maritime Rescue Sub Centre Johor Baru deployed a rescue boat to the location. However, the rescue boat almost capsized due to the bad weather,” he said.

“The rescue operation was hindered and we had to call for help from the Tanjung Sedili fishing community,” Nurul Hizam said in a statement on Monday (Aug 16).

He added that the rescue initially failed as the weather continued to worsen and visibility was limited.

Nurul Hizam said the duo was finally rescued at about 8.15am on Monday by a fishing boat that took part in the search and rescue operation.

He said the two fishermen – Abdul Halim, 50, and Mohd Nor Rizal, 38 – were found in safe with their lifejackets on and clinging to a buoy four nautical miles north-east of where their boat went down.

He added that investigations revealed their boat sank because of heavy rain and high waves.

"The fishermen were taken to the Tanjung Sedili Health Clinic for treatment,” he said.

In an unrelated case, Johor MMEA detained two tankers, two barter boats and one cargo ship for anchoring illegally in the state's waters.

The first ship was seized at about 9.47am on Sunday 13 nautical miles east of Tanjung Balau and was registered in Togo, West Africa.

It was manned by 16 crewmen from Egypt and Syria, aged between 22 and 46, with valid travel documents.

The second ship was located 13.1 nautical miles north-east of Tanjung Siang. It was registered in the Cayman Islands and was crewed by 27 men from the Philippines and Russia, all with valid travel documents.

The third ship from Panama was located 13.9 nautical miles off Tanjung Siang; it was manned by 25 crew from the Philippines and Russia aged between 23 and 63.

Finally, the fourth and fifth ships were located 2.4 nautical miles south-west of Tanjung Tohor, and both ships were crewed by eight men from Indonesia, aged between 25 and 42, all with valid travel documents.

All the ships were seized and investigated under Section 491B(1)(l) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for illegal anchoring.

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