Johor MMEA halts search for missing Indonesians, no signs of capsized boat

KOTA TINGGI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has stopped its search and rescue (SAR) operation for the 10 Indonesian nationals who went missing after their boat allegedly capsized near Tanjung Penyusop here.

Johor MMEA director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the decision was made after failing to find any clues or signs of a capsized boat.

The agency also did not rule out the possibility of a fake call being made to the Johor Baru Maritime Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC), he added.

“The MRSC received a report regarding 10 illegal immigrants from Indonesia who were on a boat that capsized about 9.5 nautical miles southeast of Tanjung Penyusop.

“We then deployed a SAR mission to the reported location at 4.05am. However, we have not found anything as of 7.30pm,” he said in a statement on Monday (Sept 19).

“The SAR operation covers around 26.5 nautical miles (49km) of the area,” he added.

First Admiral Nurul Hizam said the Singapore and Indonesia authorities also did not receive any reports of any capsized boats as reported to the MRSC.

“The operation ended at 7.30pm but patrolling in the area continues,” he said.