Bodies of two Chinese nationals recovered from capsized sand dredger in Malaysia's Johor

A capsized sand-dredging vessel is seen in the waters near Muar, Johor, Malaysia, on March 21, 2018.
A capsized sand-dredging vessel is seen in the waters near Muar, Johor, Malaysia, on March 21, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS/MALAYSIAN MARITIME ENFORCEMENT AGENCY

MUAR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, XINHUA) - Two more bodies - a male and a female - were recovered from a capsized sand dredger off the coast of the Malaysian state of Johor on Saturday (March 24).

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Southern Region Maritime deputy director Capt Sanifah Yusof said Liang Puzeng was recovered from the ship's cabin while Liu Konggan was found floating six nautical miles near Parit Haji Bakri. Both victims were Chinese nationals.

He said the bodies were sent to the Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital for a post-mortem.

One body from inside the ship was also recovered on Saturday morning.

The vessel overturned in the waters off Parit Jawa in Muar on Wednesday morning.

The Chinese owned, Dominican-registered dredger JBB Rong Chang 8 has a total crew of 18, comprising one Malaysian crewman, one Indonesian and 16 Chinese nationals.

Three Chinese were rescued previously while one was dead. Another two Chinese were rescued by divers on Friday after being trapped inside the ship for more than 50 hours.

Fifteen members of the crew were thrown into the water when the vessel overturned.

Capt Sanifah said search and rescue operations would be intensified on Saturday with more divers deployed to look for possible survivors trapped in pockets of air in the capsized vessel.

He added the search area would be expanded to cover a 200-nautical mile area from the current 196-nautical mile area.

A team of seven divers from China's SOS Maritime Centre in Guangdong also joined in the search with some 30 local divers and those engaged by the shipping company.