Posted on January 30, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Malaysian-flagged merchant vessel, Bahagia Maju sank in the morning of January the 29th, some eight nautical miles off the Sungari Rajang estuary, Malaysia.
The incident occurred at approximately 6:30 am on Wednesday morning.
The Kuching Maritime Rescue Sub-centre (MRSC) received a distress call from the sinking vessel, prompting the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to launch a search & rescue mission.
Following the distress call, the crew of the merchant vessel were forced to abandon the sinking ship, finding refuge aboard a life raft.
MMEA vessel KM Semilang was sent to the location, focusing on a five-nautical-mile radius north of the Sungai Rajang estuary.
However, the initial search & rescue team sent to the area was forced to turn back when they encountered rough weather. Specifically, the SAR team came across 1.5-2.5 metres high waves, and strong north-eastern winds that reached up to 30-40 kmph.
Thankfully, local fishermen in the area managed to locate and successfully rescue the missing crewmembers, at about 11:30 am, some 5 and a half hours after the initial distress call.
The seafarers were then taken to a jetty in Kabong before being sent to Sibu Hospital for treatment.