Search for missing US destroyer crew enters third day
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — The search for several missing crew of a United States guided-missile destroyer involved in an accident off Singapore entered the third day today, with the area of search extended to 867.5 square nautical miles, according to the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
MMEA director-general Admiral (Maritime) Datuk Zulkifli Abu Bakar tweeted that three Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) vessels and a Super Lynx helicopter, an Augusta A109 helicopter of the Malaysian Army, an MMEA vessel and several boats of other enforcement agencies had been deployed.
The US guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain had collided with a Liberian-registered merchant vessel, Alnic MC, at 5.40am on Monday 4.5 nautical miles offshore in the Ramunia Bay waters. Five of the destroyer’s crew were injured and 10 were unaccounted for.
The search team found a body at sea yesterday but it had yet to be identified.
In JOHOR BARU, MMEA Southern Region director Admiral (Maritime) Datuk Adon Shalan said the operation began at 7 am and involved 310 personnel of various enforcement agencies.
Giving a breakdown, he said three RMN vessels, an MMEA vessel and two boats, a Marine Department boat and three Marine Police boats were involved in today’s operation, besides an MMEA AW139 helicopter and an RMN Super Lynx helicopter.
In Kuala Lumpur, Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) chairman Datuk Seri Dr Irmohizam Ibrahim advised fishermen who came across any find to inform the authorities.
He said fishermen security groups in four locations in Johor, namely Pengerang, Sedili, Mersing and Endau, had been informed to keep a lookout.
“They have also been informed to be prepared to assist the RMN and other agencies if necessary,” he said in a statement. — Bernama