MUAR – The bodies of a woman and a man, believed to be victims of the sand-dredger which capsized on Wednesday were found inside the vessel and near the ship as at noon.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Southern Region Maritime Operation deputy director Maritime Captain Sanifah Yusof said the body of the woman was found in a cabin while the man were found far away the ship.
“The dead woman is probably a Chinese national but we have to wait for the identification process to confirm the identity of the two victims,” he told reporters at the Search and Rescue (SAR) guard post in Pantai Leka here today.
The remains of the man was found in the waters of Parit Haji Baki about 9.7 kilometres (six miles) from Parit Jawa.
Currently, the SAR operation had found nine suspected victims with five rescued alive.
The search and rescue operation for the missing crew of dredger JBB Rong Chang 8 has been extended to 190 nautical miles from the location of the ill-fated ship.
The SAR operation which entered the fourth day today involved 70 divers from MMEA, Royal Malaysian Navy as well as professional divers engaged by the ship’s company.
The 24-hour SAR operation is continuing with 90 per cent of the ship covered while helicopters were deployed to monitor the water surface around the location of the ship.
“We believe they could still be rescued and we expanding the the search area as several bodies were outside of the ship’s location,” he said when asked on the probability of finding the missing victims found away from incident location.
“Divers are still searching in the compartment section of the vessel to make sure there were no one else in the section,” he said.
Meanwhile, Muar health officer Dr Noorhaida Ujang said two victims rescued yesterday had been moved to a normal ward.
“Both victims did not sustain any injuries, they were just weak after having not eaten in two days,” she said.
Meanwhile the five victims rescued alive were identified as Liang Puzeng, Jiang Chunlin, Liu Konggan, Liang Rongbin and Wu Liangfu. In the incident at 7.50am on Wednesday, 14 crew members of the sand-dredger were reported trapped while four were rescued by SAR teams and one was found drowned on the day itself. – BERNAMA