Ship sinks off Miri, one dead, four missing, 121 rescued

MIRI (The Star/ANN) – A ship with more than 100 crew members on board has sunk in the South China Sea offshore of Miri in northern Sarawak after running into trouble in the early hours of Tuesday (Oct 27) morning.

A massive search-and-rescue operation was launched after distress signals from the Dayang Topaz were picked up.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has confirmed that, so far, 121 people have been rescued.

MMEA director-general Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Putrajaya received a report from the crew of a ship named Sapura Construction.

Crew members of Dayang Topaz being rescued after their ship started sinking in the South China Sea offshore of Miri on Tuesday morning. Photo: MMEA
Search and rescue operation in South China Sea offshore Miri in northern Sarawak. Photo: MMEA

“At 6.45am Sapura Construction received distress signals from another ship Dayang Topaz about 7.7 nautical miles offshore Kuala Baram in Miri.

“Sapura Construction crew rushed to the site. They saw Dayang Topaz sinking.

“MMEA sent our ships along with those from Petronas and Shell. They found 125 crew members had jumped into the sea from the sinking ship.

“By 8.45am, 121 crew members had been rescued.

“One was found dead, while four are still missing,” he said in a statement.

The search-and-rescue operation is still on.

Northern Sarawak was battered by strong winds and heavy rain in the past two days. The ship is believed to have been hit by massive waves.

More details on Wednesday’s Borneo Bulletin