MMEA hopes to get at least one offshore patrol vessel this year

A file picture of two of MMEA's offshore patrol vessels - KM Tok Bali and KM Kota Kinabalu - that were delivered in July 2020. - Photo: KK SHAM / The Star

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) hopes to receive at least one offshore patrol vessel (OPV) this year to beef up patrols in the country’s waters.

MMEA deputy director-general (logistics) Rear Admiral (M) Datuk Saiful Lizan Ibrahim said currently his agency has 70 vessels and 190 boats nationwide, but most of them were obsolete and not functioning well.

"We were supposed to be receiving three OPVs a long time ago but due to certain problems, we still have not received them.

"Insyaallah, the issues are being resolved and we hope to receive at least one OPV this year,” he said after officiating at the Maritime Safety Awareness Day and World Ocean Week at Pantai Batu Buruk.

Also present was Terengganu MMEA director Maritime Captain Muhammad Suffi Mohd Ramli.

Saiful Lizan said besides OPV, the agency was also expected the receive six fast interceptor craft (FIC) by the end of this year to increase security control and surveillance in the country’s waters as well as curb intrusion by foreign fishermen.

Meanwhile, he said throughout the 16 years of its establishment, the MMEA had handled 2,500 cases involving various incidents.

"Of the total, 805 cases involved vessel and boat incidents; human beings (944 cases), asset assistance (525 cases); medical advisory services (19 cases) as well as providing support assistance and logistics services to other agencies (207 cases),” he said. - Bernama

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