KOTA TINGGI, Dec 16 — Eight more bodies, comprising six men and two women, believed to be victims of the Tanjung Balau boat tragedy here were recovered today.
Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) operations deputy director Maritime Captain Simon Templer Lo Tusa said the latest figures bring the total number of victims found so far to 33 people (14 rescued alive and 19 found dead).
He said based on the figures, it is believed that 17 people are still missing and search efforts are underway.
“The search-and-rescue operation on the second day continued with the involvement of an aircraft, a ship and a boat from MMEA, while two boats from the Marine Police Force and an aircraft from the Fire and Rescue Department joined the search in the afternoon,” said Simon Templer during a media conference held in Tanjung Balau here today.
Today was the second day of the SAR operation and involved 145 personnel and officers from the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), police, marine police, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force and Health Ministry.
Simon Templer explained that the air search covered an area of 76.50 nautical miles, while the sea search area covered an area of 146.81 nautical miles.
“The search operation on land also continued with the help of other agencies,” he said.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that by 7pm the sea search will be called off for the day due to poor visibility, but the land search along the beach will continue late into the night.
The victims who are alive will also be handed over to the Immigration Department.
Yesterday, 11 bodies of Indonesian undocumented migrants were found along the Tanjung Balau beach after the boat they were on capsized due being hit by high waves during bad weather early in the morning.
The boat was reportedly carrying 50 undocumented migrants from Batam and Lombok, Indonesia, and was enroute to Malaysia when the tragedy struck.