Jakarta. Six Indonesian crewmen are missing after an oil tanker reportedly exploded and capsized 4.6 nautical miles off Tanjung Pengelih in Johor, Malaysia, on Thursday morning (15/06).
The missing crewmen were identified as Muhamad Heri Hernanda (28), Rendy Alamanda (28), Raden Abdur Rahem (31), Akhmad Faharuddin (35), Yohanis Sumari (35) and Sulkifli (39).
Rear Adm. Datuk Mohd Taha Ibrahim, deputy director general for logistics at the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), said they sent a patrol vessel from Tanjung Sedili to investigate but only found traces of an oil spill in the area.
"The MT Putri Sea is believed to have been carrying crude oil and was registered at Malabo Port in Equatorial Guinea. The ship is 46.3 meters long and had a crew of six – all of whom were Indonesians aged 28 to 39," the MMEA said in a statement.
Haris Nugroho, Indonesia's consul general in Johor Bahru, meanwhile confirmed the incident on Friday.
He said the Singapore Police Coast Guard (SPCG) first reported the incident to the MMEA on Thursday, adding that the Malaysian authorities informed him that all the missing crewmembers were able to get off the MT Putri Sea before it sank.
However, he said the MT Putri Sea was a merchant vessel and not an oil tanker.
"The information we received from the authorities is that it was a merchant vessel," Haris said.
He said search and rescue teams are currently looking for the missing crewmen and that the Indonesian Consulate General in Johor Bahru continues to coordinate with the Malaysian authorities.
"We are also coordinating with the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore as the incident occurred near the Malaysia-Singapore border," Haris said.