Malaysia urges public to report sighting of containers from sunken ship in Malacca Strait

MALACCA (Bernama) - The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has urged fishermen who sighted any food-laden container from the KM Avatar vessel, which sank in the Strait of Melaka on June 14, to immediately alert the agency.

Melaka MMEA operations officer Muhammad Rasul Abdul Bakar said on Saturday (June 17) the fishermen who towed the containers to the jetty were not allowed to open or take possession of the goods found in the containers.

"Fishermen are prohibited from taking possession of the goods in the containers, but we will discuss with the cargo owners to reward the fishermen accordingly," he told Bernama.

He said this in response on the action of certain quarters in who had picked up food products from the containers belonging to KM Avatar in Teluk Gong on Friday.

Mohammed Rasul said the MMEA and the Marine Department had marked the plot (position) of the remaining 17 containers carried by the vessel and had informed the agent appointed by the shipping company.

"We are currently negotiating with the cargo owner how to manage the containers from the sunken ship," he said.

In the 9.25am incident on June 14, KM Avatar, a container ship from Indonesia sank in the Strait of Malacca after it was believed to have been hit by strong waves.

The vessel was carrying 15 crew and 13 of them were rescued by a merchant ship.

Another crew member, Hermawan, 35, who is the chef, was rescued during the search and rescue (SAR) operation on June 15, while the body of Captain Samuel Andianto Henuk, 52, was found on the same day.