BY BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU – A search for 14 people, 10 of whom are avid local weekend anglers, missing at sea between Pulau Mantanani and Pulau Mengalum since Friday, has intensified.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and naval boats have been deployed with both the Marine police and the police Air Wing roped in early Monday to assist in the operations to locate the missing boat.
MMEA Communications Officer, Lt Awil Kamsari in a statement Monday said the trawler skipper, Nur Sahaya Kibad, had not been in radio contact with the boat, since it sailed off Friday morning to a location about 70kms north west of here.
The last reported position of the boat was 25 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Mantanani.
A search and rescue have been launched by the coastguards since 8.30pm Sunday after owner of the shipping trawler, Lee Len Fook lodged a report with Kota Kinabalu police earlier in the day.
The anglers and boat was due to return to the state capital at about noon Sunday.
Fishermen familiar with the waters between Pulau Mantanani and Pulau Mengalum, said it can be treacherous at times, especially when the weather is bad.
Immediate details of the people missing on board the vessel were not immediately available.
They had left the Sabah Fish Marketing (SAFMA) jetty here at about 11am. The boat also had three crew.