Bodies Of Two Victims Reported Missing In Tanjung Piai Boat Capsize Incident Found Today

JOHOR BAHARU, July 16 (Bernama) -- The search and rescue (SAR) operation jointly mounted by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA),Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Department and Marine Department, found two bodies about three nautical miles from Tanjung Piai today.

MMEA South Region 6 enforcement head Captain Aminuddin Abdul Rashid said the two bodies were found at about 4.30pm Wednesday.

"The bodies were found by a ship that had anchored in the area before informing the MMEA," he said when contacted today, adding that the bodies have been sent to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital for post-mortem.

Aminuddin said the SAR operations would continue for the missing seven passengers, until 7pm.

The search and rescue operation was launched after a boat with 80 Indonesian illegal immigrants reportedly capsized off Tanjung Piai near Pontian, yesterday.

The boat had collided with a Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) vessel that was engaged in an "Ops Tumpas" operation.

Since then, two people were reported dead and 9 others were feared drowned while the search operation was being carried out around a six-square nautical mile area between Tanjung Pelepas and Tanjung Piai.

Aminuddin had said the second day of the search and rescue operation which started at 7am this morning was focused along the shores and mangrove area towards the Singapore and Indonesia coastline.

"When investigating the two skippers of the boat admitted that the number of passengers was 70 and not 78 as estimated earlier," he said when contacted here today.

During the 11.40pm incident which occurred about three nautical miles southeast of Tanjung Piai, 61 passengers, including the two skippers were rescued.

The boat was believed to be heading to Pulau Batam, Indonesia after leaving Tanjung Adang in Gelang Patah.


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