KUALA LUMPUR – The Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) has formed seven sectors in the search area in Pulau Karimata, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, to locate the AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 which was reported missing on its way from Surabaya to Singapore, Sunday.
Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar said the search and locate (SAL) mission at sea was led by Indonesian Navy First Admiral Rashid Kacong.
“Besides other Indonesian maritime assets, countries involved in the operation are Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Meanwhile, India has stated their readiness to mobilise its assets at any time,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Abdul Aziz, who was also appointed as Malaysia SAL coordinator, said three of the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN) ships have been deployed to join the mission.
Flight QZ8501, which was scheduled to have arrived in Singapore at 8.30am yesterday, lost contact with the Jakarta air traffic control at 7.24am.
The aircraft was carrying 162 people, including seven crew members.
Abdul Aziz said the vessels involved in the search were KD Pahang, KD Lekir and KD Lekiu and a Fennec helicopter.
“KD Pahang under RMN Commander Fadhil Abd Rahman is nearing the search sector and is expected to reach at 2pm today while KD Lekir and KD Lekiu will join KD Pahang tomorrow morning,” he said.
He added that search efforts by RMN will be assisted by a Royal Malaysia Air Force Hercules c-130H aircraft. – Bernama