Malaysia: Chinese sand-dredger capsizes off Muar

1 dead, 14 believed alive in sunken hull
AFP New Straits Times 21 Mar 18;

KUALA LUMPUR: One crew member was killed and 14 others, most of them Chinese, were missing Wednesday after a sand-dredging vessel capsized off Muar, Johor with some believed trapped alive inside the sunken hull.

The coastguard said authorities in the southern state were alerted at 8:50am that the vessel, the JBB Rong Chang 8, had sank.

Two boats were sent to the scene and found one Chinese citizen dead and three others alive, the coastguard said.

A search is continuing for the 14 sailors – 12 Chinese, one Indonesian and one Malaysian – still missing, said a coastguard statement.

Sanifah Yusof, a senior coastguard official, told AFP that divers searching for the missing crew believed some could still be alive inside the overturned boat.

"We believe there are some crew trapped in the ship. The divers knocked on the body of the ship and got a response," he told AFP.

It was not clear what caused the accident. The weather in the area was fine.

Dredging sand from coastal areas is a booming and lucrative business. The sand is shipped to wealthy, land-scarce areas such as Singapore for reclamation and construction work.

Last year two foreign vessels manned by Chinese crew were seized off Malaysia's west coast for allegedly conducting illegal sand-dredging. – AFP

One dead after sand mining vessel capsizes off Johor
Channel NewsAsia 21 Mar 18;

JOHOR BAHRU: A sand mining vessel capsized off Parit Jawa near Muar on Wednesday (Mar 21), resulting in one crew member drowning and 14 missing, Maritime Malaysia said in a statement.

Three Chinese crew members were rescued safely after authorities received reports that the JBB Rong Chang 8 had overturned at 8.50am, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said in a statement.

Those rescued were Wu Liangfu, Liang Rongbin and Jiang Chulin. A 50-year-old crew member, Liang Caiman, drowned in the incident.

Search and rescue operations were ongoing, with two patrol boats deployed, the agency said.

The Chinese-owned, Dominican-registered dredger was carrying one Malaysian, an Indonesian and 16 Chinese crew members.

Six crew were rescued after the vessel, JBB Rong Chang 8, capsized at 8.5 nautical miles offshore, Batu Pahat Base maritime director Muhammad Zulkarnain Abdullah had said earlier.

Lieutenant commander Muhammad said Maritime Malaysia sent two patrol boats to the location after it was alerted to the incident at 8.50am and that a search-and-rescue operation was ongoing.

Mr Zulkarnain advised people to exercise caution when conducting activities at sea and to contact the Batu Pahat Base Maritime Operations Centre or emergency services if they need help.

Source: Bernama/zl

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