MMEA to push for mandatory use of personal locator beacon on ships

SEREMBAN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will push for the mandatory use of personal locator beacon (PLB) for ships with passengers at sea.

MMEA director-general Maritime Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the agency would meet with the relevant agencies on this matter.

Referring to the recent missing boat with 13 people on board in Besut waters, he said that speed was of the essence to ensure survival.

It was reported that the boat did not have any communication equipment on board.

"Just one person holding a PLB in the boat is enough. I advise all fishermen, before boarding a boat, to insist that a PLB is on hand because this is for their personal safety.

"If the boat manager says they do not have one then do not board," he said at a press conference on Saturday (July 2) at the Mantin shooting range here.

Admiral Mohd Zubil added that search and rescue missions have lasted days and the use of PLB would make pinpointing the location easier and quicker.

"How long can one last floating at sea? Unfortunately right now the usage on boats is only roughly 5%," he said.

He also said the MMEA would now investigate all boats that required SAR missions to determine if any negligence was involved.

"For the recent SAR mission in Besut I have already instructed my men to do so," he said.

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