KOTA KINABALU – Two Brunei Darussalam assets have been deployed to join 13 vessels and five aircraft in the search for six people missing after a catamaran carrying 28 Chinese tourists and three crew capsized off Sabah on Saturday.
The S92 helicopter of the Brunei authorities and KDB Bakti vessel of the Royal Brunei Navy are helping in the search that has been extended to cover 2,400 sq nautical miles of sea, said a statement issued by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Monday.
As of 3pm Monday, there is still no updates as to the missing six – 5 tourists from China and a crewman from Kota Kinabalu.
Twenty tourists and two crew have been rescued and three tourists have been found dead after the catamaran capsized at about 10am on Saturday when it was hit by strong winds and high waves an hour after leaving the Tanjung Aru jetty here for Pulau Mengalum, a tourist destination 56km northwest of Kota Kinabalu.
The search was originally confined to 400 sq nautical miles but it was extended to 1,400 sq nautical miles, after 25 of the victims were found in Semarang waters near Labuan Sunday, and then to 2,400 sq nautical miles.
The MMEA has deployed five vessels, namely KM Adil, KM Berani, KM Mabul, Kilat 40 and Kilat 23, and two aircraft – a Bombardier plane and an AW139 helicopter.
The Royal Malaysian Navy has sent four vessels, namely KD Ganas, KD Serang, CB 203 andCB 204, and the Royal Malaysian Air Force has sent a C130 aircraft.
The Marine Police has deployed four vessels, namely PA 12, RH 29, RH 51 and PSC 1, and the Air Unit, two helicopters – 9M-PHH and 9M-PHK.