Bodies of 2 Malaysian anglers missing off Pedra Branca found

An RSS Sovereignty crew member scanning the horizon for the capsized fishing boat.
An RSS Sovereignty crew member scanning the horizon for the capsized fishing boat. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/DR NG ENG HEN

The bodies of two Malaysian men who went missing after their fishing boat capsized off Pedra Branca on Sunday have been found.

The incident, which happened some 1.5km south-east of Pedra Branca, at the eastern entrance of the Singapore Strait, had sparked a three-nation search effort for the men that involved ships and helicopters.

Singapore coordinated the search-and-rescue operations with the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities, as the area is within the Singapore Maritime Search and Rescue Region.

In a statement yesterday, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said the bodies were found by the Indonesian authorities on Tuesday and yesterday.

The agency was informed by the Indonesian authorities at about 5pm on Tuesday that they had found a body at Pengudang Beach on Bintan Island.

The MPA was also notified at about 2.30pm yesterday by the Indonesian authorities after they found another body in the sea north of Bintan Island.

The two bodies were later identified by family members to be those of Mr Chang Chong Kuok and Mr Tan Soon Heng, the two missing Malaysians, the MPA said.

The MPA stopped search-and-rescue operations at 3pm yesterday.

MPA chief executive Andrew Tan said: "On behalf of all agencies involved in this search-and-rescue operation, MPA expresses our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased."

The MPA also thanked all ships and aircraft which participated in the operations.

Amir Hussain

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2017, with the headline 'Bodies of 2 Malaysian anglers missing off Pedra Branca found'. Print Edition | Subscribe