Malaysian maritime authorities to tow capsized vessel to Tanjung Pungai for search

A Malaysian Maritime Enforcement agency boat patrolling along the coast of Langkawi Island on May 12, 2015. Malaysian maritime authorities want to tow a capsized dredge to Tanjung Pungai to carry out a search inside the vessel for missing crew member
A Malaysian Maritime Enforcement agency boat patrolling along the coast of Langkawi Island on May 12, 2015. Malaysian maritime authorities want to tow a capsized dredge to Tanjung Pungai to carry out a search inside the vessel for missing crew members. --PHOTO: AFP

KOTA TINGGI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian maritime authorities want to tow a capsized dredge to Tanjung Pungai to carry out a search inside the vessel for missing crew members.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Maritime Commander Mustafa Kamal Abas said none of the 14 crew members have been found so far.

"There is the possibility that they might be trapped inside the vessel," he said.

He said the area of the search where the dredge capsized has been widened.

Cmdr Mustafa Kamal said the navy, Marine Department and police were also involved in the search.

He said MMEA sent a ship and two boats while the navy and Marine Department had sent one vessel each.

"We also have 10 divers from the navy and police on standby.

"We expect the operation to take some time due to choppy sea conditions," he said.

It was reported that 15 crew members went missing after their Bolivian-registered vessel, on its way carrying sand from Teluk Ramunia, off Pengerang, capsized at around 4.20am on Wednesday.

A ship rescued one of the crew members, a 51-year-old Chinese national, before alerting the Johor port, which then informed MMEA.

A Malaysian is among the missing crewmen while the rest are Chinese nationals.