MMEA, RMAF launch SAR for seven anglers in Labuan waters

LABUAN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) launched a search and rescue (SAR) operation for seven anglers who are feared to have drowned while fishing in Labuan waters since Friday.

The anglers from Pulau Gaya, Kota Kinabalu, reportedly went fishing at about 3am.

MMEA Sabah and Labuan regional director, First Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som, said seven anglers were reported to have drowned, while five others escaped to safety about 97 nautical miles northwest of Labuan.

"Labuan regional maritime operations centre received a distress call about 11.30am today to inform us on a capsized fishing boat northwest of Labuan," he said in a statement.

The survivors were identified as Sibar, 26, Musimal, 19, Ridzmal, 21, Azmer, 31, and Algapal, 31.

"A search and rescue operation was activated immediately with MMEA deploying the vessel KM Bistari to the last reported location of the capsized boat, about 97 nautical miles northwest of Labuan or about 117 nautical miles northwest of Kota Kinabalu." — Bernama