SAR team to use sonar device in search for SUV in Penang Bridge crash (VIDEO)

SAR personnel are seen during the search operation near the Penang Bridge January 21, 2019. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
SAR personnel are seen during the search operation near the Penang Bridge January 21, 2019. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 21 — The search and rescue (SAR) operations for the sports utility vehicle (SUV) that plunged into the sea will be using a special sonar device to detect the vehicle.

Fire and Rescue Department operations assistant director Mohd Hafiz Hafizal Timaradin said a private company, Marine Science Technology Sdn Bhd, offered assistance to the SAR operations by providing the device.

“The device, Teledyne T20P, will be able to detect objects under the sea as deep as 400m,” he told reporters today.

Two cars collided on the Penang Bridge while heading towards the mainland early Sunday morning at 2.50am.

One of the cars, a white SUV, crashed over the guard rail and plunged into the sea.

College student Moey Yun Peng, 20, was believed to be behind the wheels of the white SUV when it happened.

The other driver, in a black Toyota Vios, was sent to the hospital for injuries on his head, legs and hands.

Both drivers are believed to be former school friends and both had attended a birthday party with five other friends at an entertainment outlet along Chulia Street on Saturday night.

They left the outlet at about 2.30am on Sunday and only the two of them headed to the mainland as they lived there while the other five lived on the island.

Police revealed that initial urine tests of the Toyota Vios driver was positive for cannabis.

His blood samples were sent for further testing for drugs and alcohol content.

SAR operations, which ended at 7pm yesterday, failed to find the missing SUV.

SAR operations continued at 7am today with a team of 108 people including 38 divers and 14 boats from various agencies.

Malaysia Region Search & Rescue (MRSC) Langkawi along with the Maritime Enforcement Agency, Police, Marine Police, Royal Malaysian Navy, Fire and Rescue Department and Civil Defence Department were involved in the SAR operations.

Marine Police Territory 1 Commander Assistant Commissioner Rosman Ismail said the current was very strong and the area muddy which hampered the SAR operations.

It is understood that visibility in the sea was poor due to the muddy conditions of the sea in the area.

The depth of the search area is about 25 metres and covered a radius of about two nautical miles.

SAR operations will continue to 7pm today.

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