Malaysia: MMEA saves 12 after oil tanker sinks off Tanjung Penyusop in Johor waters

Malay Mail Yahoo News 31 Jan 19;

KOTA TINGGI, Jan 31 — The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) today rescued 12 crew members after their vessel sank near Tanjung Penyusop here last night.

All 12 male survivors, including a Malaysian technical passenger, had earlier been stranded at sea after their tanker met with problems at about two nautical miles east of Tanjung Penyusop.

Johor MMEA deputy director (operations) Maritime Captain Sanifah Yusof said the Sea Frontier motor tanker, registered in Saint Kitts and Nevis, was about 75 per cent submerged at about 9.15pm last night.

He said checks revealed that the vessel had hit rocks while attempting to dock, causing hull damage that allowed water into the ship.

“During the incident, the vessel carried 11 crew members from Indonesia and Myanmar, while another was a technical passenger from the local community who came to assist in monitoring and testing of the vessel's machinery.

“Acting on information, the Johor Baru Maritime Rescue Sub Center (MRSC) immediately relayed assistance to the scene, as well as informing the Marine Department and the Department of Environment (DoE) as the vessel carried Marine Gas Oil,” he said in a statement released by Johor MMEA here today.

Sanifah said all the crew members, aged 23 to 55, were earlier saved by another vessel MT Formula One at the location.

He said an MMEA vessel from Tanjung Sedili was deployed to transfer the victims to land for treatment.

“All the victims were unhurt and were handed over to the Johor Marine Department for further action,” said Sanifah.

On the possible oil spill, Sanifah said his agency and the Marine Department were making the location of the shipwreck in preparation of such an event.

“At this point, the cause of the incident is still under investigation and statements from the victims will be taken after they are all in stable condition,” he said.

Sanifah also advised ship operators to focus on safety aspects and be always aware of weather forecasts to avoid any incidents at sea.