MMEA suspends search for missing commando diver


MELAKA: The search and rescue (SAR) operation for an army commando who was feared drowned while on combat diving training since last Tuesday (Feb 7), has been temporarily suspended.

Melaka and Negeri Sembilan Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director Capt (Maritime) Iskandar Ishak said the decision to suspend the SAR was reached after no clues were received for the past week.

"The decision was made jointly with the Maritime Rescue Sub Centre," he said on Monday (Feb 13).

Iskandar said various efforts had been made to search for the 25-year-old soldier, who was believed to have gone missing about 0.7 nautical miles South-West off the coast of Pulau Undan.

He said the SAR also witnessed a Survey Team from the National Hydrographic Centre (PHN) Operations and Borders Branch using sonar for the search.

"We have also conducted dives at a depth of more than 40m after coordinating the movement of the diving team with a Royal Malaysian Navy vessel from Lumut, Perak," he said.

He said Putrajaya Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre had also informed Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) to assist in this operation because there was a possibility that the victim had been swept into the waters of Indonesia based on data and information from the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System.

Iskandar said a total of 22 assets had been deployed to the search location, consisting of 18 marine assets and four air assets, with 510 members from various agencies covering a search sector area of 1,400 square kilometres since the SAR was launched on Feb 7.

"We also like to thank all the agencies involved as well as the local fishermen for giving us all the cooperation during the week-long SAR.

"We still will continue to search for new clues," he added.

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