One dead, one missing following vessel collision off Johor, Malaysia

A Royal Malaysia Police patrol boat (Photo: Southerly Designs)

A collision between a patrol boat and a tug in the waters off southern Malaysia has resulted in the death of one person on the latter vessel.

The incident occurred at approximately 21:00 local time on Tuesday, April 21, when a Royal Malaysia Police patrol boat was struck by a tug carrying eight Indonesian nationals off Kota Tinggi in the state of Johor.

The force of the impact killed one of the tug’s occupants outright.

The remaining seven people on the tug were thrown into the water. Of these seven, only the captain, both his assistants, and three passengers were eventually rescued as the fourth passenger had gone missing.

A search and rescue (SAR) operation is still ongoing to attempt to locate the missing passenger.

No injuries have been reported among the patrol boat’s crew.

A police official said the patrol boat had been chasing the tug for about 20 minutes when the latter vessel abruptly swung around to face its pursuer, resulting in the collision.

Local authorities believe the eight Indonesians were attempting to illegally enter Malaysia by sea when their tug was spotted by the patrol boat’s crew.

All six survivors were subsequently arrested and charged with violating Malaysia’s border security and immigration laws. The captain and the two crewmen will be detained for 28 days while the three passengers will be detained for 14 days.

Meanwhile, the deceased individual’s body has been brought to hospital in Kota Tinggi.

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