SAR op for missing ferry passenger enters second day

BATU PAHAT: The search and rescue (SAR) operation for the missing ferry passenger aboard the Muar-Bengkalis route enters its second day on Monday (June 24).

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Batu Pahat Zone Maritime Commander Mohd Hanif Mohd Yunus said the incident happened at 11.40am on Sunday (June 23).

“The 30-year-old victim, an Indonesian national identified as Juli Afriko, was believed to have fallen into the sea,’’ he said in a statement.

Mohd Hanif said today’s SAR operation coordinated by the Johor Baru Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre involved the MMEA and Marine police.

He added that the search radius for the victim covers an area of 11.88 nautical miles square (40.74 square km) in the sea and 27.2 square nautical miles (93.29 square km) in the air.

Bengkalis in Riau Province, Sumatera, Indonesia is located 68 nautical miles (125.93km) from Muar and a journey by ferry from the coastal town in the northwest of Johor takes five hours including transfers and departs once daily.

Separately, Mohd Hanif said the SAR operation for the two fishermen – Raud Darus@Hamid, 53, and Lee Pong Ling, 68, who was believed to have drowned has been intensified on the fourth day.

Five local fishermen, aged between 43 and 63, went missing after their boat capsized 6.8 nautical miles (12.6km) southwest of Tanjung Segenting, Batu Pahat on Friday (June 21) at about 6am when it was hit by strong waves during bad weather.

He said the bodies of two victims – Tan Hai Lian, 62, was found along Pantai Koris, Batu Pahat at around 11.30am on Sunday (June 23) while Chia Kah Chiong, 51, was found at 7pm on the same day.

“Tan Siak Bin, 43, was rescued by other fishermen at around 8am, Saturday (June 22),” said Mohd Haniff.

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