Dredger with Chinese crew capsizes near Malaysia coast

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  March 21, 2018 at 10:06 AM
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March 21 (UPI) -- A sand mining boat with a predominantly Chinese crew capsized near Malaysia, leaving at least one crewmember dead and 14 others missing.

The JBB Rong Chang 8, which was flying under the Dominican flag, overturned 8.5 nautical miles from the southern Malaysian state of Johor, China's Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

While a search team continued to look for the missing crew members late Wednesday, Chinese diplomats told Xinhua 12 Chinese remained missing, while Malaysian authorities said they are on the search for 14 people after the incident.

Both sides said three crew members have been rescued, one person was found dead and that there were a total of 16 Chinese citizens on board when the boat capsized.

MMEA chief Zulkifili Abu Bakar said the search is ongoing and that the agency received a distress call at 8:50 a.m. on Wednesday.

The Malay Mail Online reported the multi-agency rescue operation has led to the rescue of three people, and two of those people have been hospitalized.

According to MMEA's Batu Pahat base director Muhammad Zulkarnain Abdullah the JBB Rong Chang 8 had a total of 18 crew members.

"All the crew were male and comprised one Malaysian, an Indonesian and 16 Chinese nationals," he said.

Sand-mining or dredging boats usually carry out activities underwater to collect sand and sediments.

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