KUALA LUMPUR - The Royal Malaysian Navy has released the names of the seven crew members on board missing Combat Vessel CB204.
The seven are: Lt Azri Bakar (captain), BK PAP Christopher ak Mani, BM TMK Ince ak Evin, BM TMK Steven Hudson ak Miso, BM JTP Nor Azuan Ariffin, LK KOM Sulhajji Daah and LK PAP Mohd Azhry Maani.
The navy is expected to hold a press conference to update the public on the ongoing search and rescue operation, spanning 135 nautical miles around Mengalum Island and near the Spratly Islands.
RMN Chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar told Bernama that he believed that the crew on the vessel were safe, due to CB204's safety features and floating ability.
Abdul Aziz said the boat can function even under extreme bad weather conditions and even if the vessel turns turtle after being lashed by huge waves, it can return to its normal position automatically.
Chart showing the search area, tweeted by the RMN Chief of Navy
"I believe the combat vessel and the seven crew members are safe. The vessel's floating ability is par excellence but I hope there was no leak in the boat due to the extreme weather conditions," he told Bernama.
CB204 lost contact with its base at 11.15am while cruising to islands off Sabah waters. The vessel's last known position was 20 nautical miles east of Mengalum Island.
It departed from the Kota Kinabalu Naval Base with navy ship KD Paus at 5am Sunday, en route to the Spratly Islands.
Five hours later KD Paus contacted base saying that both vessels were turning back due to bad weather. An hour later, it said that it had lost communication and visual of CB204.
Six ships from the navy and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and three aircrafts have been scouring four sectors within the search area since Monday morning.