Gabon-registered ship catches fire, three crew members missing off Kota Tinggi

KOTA TINGGI: Three crew members of a Gabon-registered vessel went missing after their ship was engulfed in flames near Tanjung Sedili here.

Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the Johor Baru maritime rescue centre received a distress call about the incident at 4pm on Monday (May 1).

"The tanker, heading towards Singapore from China, is registered in Gabon, Africa with 28 crew members.

"A fire had broken out on the ship, which is located 37.5 nautical miles (69km) northeast of Tanjung Sedili," he said in a statement.

He added a search and rescue operation was mounted and MMEA rescued two of the ship’s crew members while 23 others were rescued by two other vessels nearby.

"The search is now focused on finding the remaining three crew members who are still missing," he said, adding that investigations are ongoing to find out the cause of the incident.

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