Search continues for three missing tugboat crewmen in Sabah waters

MMEA personnel scouring the waters off the northern Kota Belud district in search of the missing crewmen.

KOTA KINABALU: The search for three crewmen who went missing after their tugboat capsized off Sabah’s northern Kota Belud district entered its third day as rescuers expanded their search area on Tuesday (May 24).

Boats from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), marine police and navy have been divided into sectors to look for the missing seamen, covering an area extending to 339 nautical miles.

The Megah Jaya 2 tugboat, carrying Malaysian crew members namely Ling Chung Siong, 24, Yee Lih Min, 22, and Wilson Paul Joseph, 31, the ship’s captain, is believed to have sunk about 35 nautical miles from the mainland, near Pulau Mantanani last Sunday (May 22).

Sabah and Labuan MMEA director First Admiral (M) Datuk Mohd Rosli Abdullah said the tugboat owner, who is also a relative to one of the missing men, identified only as Mr Ling, has also joined the search.

"Mr Ling has informed us that he will be scouring for the missing men using a helicopter," he said in an updated statement on Tuesday (May 24).

He said the owner had also lodged a police report in relation to the missing tugboat at 9.30am on Sunday.

The MMEA activated its search and rescue operations at 11pm the same day, he added.

Mohd Rosli urged those with information pertaining to the incident to directly contact the MMEA operations room at 088-387 774.

Initially, the search only covered an area of 176 nautical miles.

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Search , Rescue , Capsized , MMEA , Tugboat , Missing


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