21 MMEA divers involved in phase two search for helicopter black box


PETALING JAYA: The search for the black box of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) helicopter that made an emergency water landing earlier this month has entered its second phase.

MMEA director-general Admiral Datuk Hamid Mohd Amin said 21 of the agency's divers are involved in the second phase of the search near Pulau Angsa, off Kuala Selangor.

ALSO READ: MMEA helicopter recovered from Pulau Angsa waters

"The search will involve a 50m to 100m radius.

"The Royal Malaysian Navy and the National Hydrographic Centre estimated that the black box is within 700m-800m of where the helicopter landed," he said in a statement on Thursday (March 28).

Divers are encountering difficulties searching for the black box because of high tide and poor visibility, he added.

"However, we are confident of finding the black box soon.

"The mission also involves other elements including sonar operators and the Air Accident Investigation Bureau," he said.

The aircraft was piloted by Lt Kmdr (M) Tengku Mohd Nizam Tengku Zakaria and Lt Kmdr (M) Mohamad Azrol Saidi, while the others on board were warrant officer John Ibno and rescue diver Muhamad Nurhayyat Hashim.

ALSO READ: ‘Copter spun, fell into sea’

The first phase of the search was conducted from March 6 to 24, within a 1km radius of the landing site.

It was reported that an MMEA helicopter made an emergency water landing while conducting rescue exercises at 9.55am on March 5.

A distress call was made to MERS 999 by a fisherman in the vicinity.

ALSO READ: MMEA to conduct internal probe on chopper incident

A search and rescue operation was activated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at 10.15am.

All four crewmen on board were safe.

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