The AW 189 Petronas aircraft which was carrying the two victims.

KUCHING: Two local crewmen of the MV Dayang Topaz, a vessel which hit an offshore oil platform about 7.7 nautical miles off Miri this early morning, were pronounced dead.

According to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Rescue and Disaster Relief Division acting director Maritime Commander Dr Suzanna Razali Chan, based on the latest information from the Putrajaya Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), the AW 189 Petronas aircraft, which was carrying the two victims, has safely landed at Miri Airport at 5.40pm.

“Both victims have been handed over to the police for further action while, a total of 173 survivors have safely arrived at Miri Port.

“Twelve other crewmen remained on board to ensure the safety of the ship.

“All victims will also undergo a Covid-19 screening test and will be quarantined at the Grand Palace Hotel in Miri. The search and rescue (SAR) operation will be ended after all victims are identified,” she said in a statement today.

Further elaborating, she added a total of 159 officers and members from MMEA, Royal Malaysian Police, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), Malaysian Civil Defense Force, Malaysian Armed Forces, Ministry of Health, Marine Department, Public Works Department and National Search Coordination Centre Brunei were involved in this operation.

Meanwhile, the SAR operation at sea involved a boat and two MMEA vessels, 13 Petronas and Shell vessels, four Petronas aircrafts, Royal Malaysian Air Force, Bomba and Brunei Shell Petroleum.

Earlier, MRCC Putrajaya said they received an emergency call at about 6.45am from the Sapura Construction ship, which received an emergency signal from the MV Dayang Topaz.

In the incident, a total of 125 crewmen had jumped into the sea while another 62, who were on board, were rescued by the lifeboats.

Based on initial information, the vessel’s anchor broke off due to the severe weather condition, setting the vessel adrift before it crashed into the oil rig platform.

The victims, 185 Malaysian crew and two Indonesian crew (captain and chief officer), were between 21 and 63 years old.

The vessel belonged to DESB Marine Services Sdn Bhd.