KUALA LUMPUR: The search operation for a Malaysian-registered cargo ship carrying five crew members that was reported missing last week was called off over the weekend by Indonesian authorities after no new leads were found.
In a statement on Monday (Jan 16), the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said that Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) - which had coordinated the search - called off the operations on Saturday.
MMEA director-general Mohd Zubil Mat Som, however, said that his agency will continue to conduct monitoring for the cargo ship MV Dai Cat 06.
“Although the operation coordinated by BASARNAS has ended, monitoring by Malaysian Maritime assets operating in the field, especially in Malaysian waters, will continue based on the last known location of the ship,” said Mr Zubil.
“MMEA is currently continuing the investigation on the disappearance of MV Dai Cat 06 and any developments will be shared from time to time.”
Mr Zubil said that BASARNAS will activate its coordination efforts should there be new leads on the missing vessel.
According to him, BASARNAS had deployed four assets consisting of a ship, two boats and an aircraft to search the waters off Natuna, Indonesia for the missing ship.
Assets from Sarawak MMEA were also deployed to assist in the search at the Malaysia-Indonesia maritime border between Tanjung Datu and the waters off Kuching.
The Malaysian-registered cargo ship was reported missing last Monday and was carrying steel pipes valued at RM726,205 (US$168,000).
It was last located in Indonesian waters last Monday night when a distress signal was detected 30 nautical miles north-west of Pemangkat, Indonesia.
Johor MMEA director Nurul Hizam Zakaria in a statement last Tuesday said that the cargo ship - which was operated by three Malaysian and two Indonesian crew members - departed from Perak on Dec 23 and was supposed to arrive in Kuching, Sarawak on Dec 31.