KUALA LUMPUR – Seven Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) vessels, along with three others belonging to Indonesian Navy, have been deployed for the search and rescue (SAR) operation for the two Malaysian soldiers reported missing at sea near Langkawi last Monday.
RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said two RMN-owned Super Lynx and Fennec helicopters were also involved in the operation.
“With the additional assets, the search area has also been expanded,” he told reporters after opening the Maritime Warfare Asia 2016 conference here today.
The two soldiers, who are members of the Fourth Battalion of the Royal Ranger Regiment, were on duty at Pulau Perak when they went missing after falling into the sea.
Corporal Johbartlee Kanil, 32, from Kota Marudu, Sabah and Corporal Mohd Faizol Rosli, 29, from Baling, Kedah, are currently based in Oran, Perlis.
Without disclosing the search radius, Ahmad Kamarulzaman said it had been expanded in accordance with the ocean currents and involved areas in the Straits of Melaka.
He said the operation, which also involved the Royal Malaysian Air Force and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency personnel, would continue until the two missing soldiers were found.
“We will not stop the SAR operation and we will continue searching even at night, but that depends on the weather conditions,” he said.
Meanwhile, in his opening speech earlier, Ahmad Kamarulzaman said maritime security was one of the topics constantly discussed at international-level conferences, besides efforts to share experiences and innovative approaches in maritime security.
“In addition, methods of cooperation between three ASEAN member countries concerning security patrol in Sulu Ocean were also discussed to ensure maritime issues could be tackled more effectively with the cooperation between the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia,” he said.
The conference was attended by representatives from 24 countries, including Bangladesh, Australia, India, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, Canada, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Singapore and Thailand. – BERNAMA