Missing Crewmember Found Dead Aboard Burned Survey Vessel
On Wednesday, a rescue crew found the body of a crewmember who went missing in a fire aboard a Malaysian offshore survey ship earlier this week.
At 0300 hours Tuesday morning, a fire broke out on the survey vessel Geos off Kuala Baram, Sarawak. Local media report that an explosion in the ship's engine room sparked the blaze. 36 crewmembers were rescued unharmed, two others were injured in the fire and one was missing, according to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
Multiple MMEA and commercial vessels began a surface search for the missing crewmember, identified Wednesday as Mohammad Saiful Ashnar, 31. Responders were not immediately able to search the interior of the Geos due to smoke, but on Wednesday afternoon they boarded the vessel and found Ashnar's body (images below). The search effort has been called off.
In a statement Tuesday, oil and gas company Petronas said that the Geos was conducting a geotechnical survey under contract, and was about 15 nm off the coast of Baram at the time of the incident. "Petronas has always placed the safety aspect of its employees and operating areas at the highest priority level," a company spokesman said.
The Geos is a 2009-built specialty offshore vessel designed for geotechnical survey drilling. She is flagged, owned and operated in Malaysia, and she has no record of port state control inspection deficiencies.