The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) of Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands, said on Wednesday that two of the five sailors reported missing during a collision between the Indonesian-flagged MV Kartika Segara tanker and the Dominican Republic-flagged JBB De Rong 19 dredger had been found dead.
Basarnas Tanjungpinang head Djunaidi said the bodies of the two sailors were found inside the JBB De Rong 19 at around 1:04 p.m. local time.
He said Basarnas Tanjungpinang personnel helped move the bodies of the two sailors to the Singaporean Coast Guard office.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Djunaidi said, Basarnas Tanjungpinang, the search-and-rescue mission coordinator, continued to carry out operations to find the three other sailors who remained missing.
"So far, nine victims have been found, seven of whom survived the incident," he said as quoted by Antara.
(Read also: Vessels deployed to search for five missing sailors)
It was earlier reported that the number of people on board the vessel was 12. They comprised 11 Chinese citizens and one Malaysian national. It was later learned that seven of them managed to escape the incident.
The oil tanker was joining the eastbound lane to depart, while the dredger was transiting in the westbound lane when they collided in the Singapore Strait, the city state's Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said.
The 26 crew members of the Kartika Segara oil tanker did not sustain any injuries. The tanker was reportedly damaged on her starboard bow, but was stable and is currently anchored at the Eastern Anchorage. Meanwhile, the dredger capsized and is currently partially submerged.