KOTA KINABALU, Oct 7 – Navy combat boat CB204, which was found yesterday evening after it was reported missing for over 30 hours in the Mengalum waters of Sabah, is expected to arrive at the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) base, here, between 11am and 7pm tomorrow. Region Two navy commander, Rear Admiral Datuk Mohammad Rosland Omar said the operation to bring the vessel back to the base which started at 10pm yesterday was being handled by KD Ganas, which replaced KD Paus, and escorted by KD Lekiu.
He said how fast it could be towed back here would depend on the speed and weather condition. KD Paus was towing the combat boat before it had problem with its fuel tank this afternoon and was brought to Station 5, Pulau Layang-Layang. “At the moment, the combat boat with its crew is 114 nautical miles south-west and the sea condition at level four with the waves at 2.5 metres high. Towing can be done at a speed of four to six knots,” he said at a news conference, here, today.
Mohammad Rosland said all its seven crew members were feeling tired but in high spirits. The seven are Lt Azri Bakar, BK PAP Charles Cristopher Muni, BM TMK Ince anak Ewin, BM TMK Steven Hudson anak Miso, BM JTP Nor Azuan Ariffin, LK KOM Sulhajji Daah and LK I PAP Azhry Maani. Meanwhile, according to RMN sources here, Charles and Steven who fell ill were flown in a Super Lynx helicopter which reached the naval base here at 6.30pm and were now being treated in the hospital at the base.
Charles had gastric problem while Steven suffered from electrocution. The CB204 boat had left the Kota Kinabalu RMN base at 5am on Sunday for its turn of duties with another vessel on operation at the Gugusan Semarang Peninjau, Pulau Layang-layang, when it lost radio communication with the escort vessel KD Paus at 11.15am.
The combat boat was, however, detected to be at 30 nautical miles east of Pulau Layang-Layang at 4.15pm and 50 nautical miles east of Pulau Layang-Layang at 7.12pm. The search-and-rescue operation for the combat boat involved the RMN, Royal Malaysian Air Force and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency after another RMN vessel KD Ganas managed to intercept the emergency call through the maritime radio.
Mohammad Rosland said such an incident was normal in their profession as members of the security forces and it gave valuable lessons and experience to the crew. He said family members of the CB204 crew would be brought to the RMN base here to welcome them home tomorrow.
Credit : The Rakyat Post