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Lost and Found: Missing Malaysian Navy Ship Located

By MarEx 2014-10-06 10:39:00

CB204: SAR sea conditions at the location before sunset. View large waves hit the ship KD Ganas.

The Royal Malaysian Navy has found one of its gunboats which was reported missing off the coast of Sabah early Monday morning.

Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar in a series of tweets said that the vessel was located at nearly 7 p.m. (local Malaysian time) and the crew of seven was safe, except that they were "starving".

One of the search and rescue (SAR) ships received a distress call from the missing ship roughly four hours before locating it; the gunboat reported engine malfunction and failed steering gear. The SAR vessels, KD Ganas and KD Lekiu, then proceeded to the location.

It is still unclear why the vessel could not be contacted for more than 13 hours since it went missing.

Two planes from the Royal Malaysian Air Force joined the SAR operations on Monday morning, along with six ships already out at sea. The rough weather had not allowed planes to be launched earlier, and briefly hampered the operations altogether.

The Malaysian combat boat went missing during a routine patrol off Borneo island in rough seas. Its last known position was some 20 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Mangalum, before losing contact with Sepanggar Navy base. Authorities believe the missing vessel may have lost contact with the base after being hit by strong waves.

Recent events have sparked concerns about the lack of security and vulnerability to attacks facing Malaysia’s military.