A Malaysian tanker carrying nearly 7.5 million litres of petrol has gone missing with 22 crew members on board in the waters off southern Johor state’s east coast.
The 4,200 gt tanker, Teknogas, owned by Silverline Maritime told IHS Maritime that it was “human error” that lead to the technical mistakes in issuing the distress signal at 02:30 h local time on 10 June.
Officials said the MT Orkim Harmony was sailing from Malacca to Kuantan when it disappeared on Thursday.
Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) operation director (southern region) Ibrahim Mohamed said the fuel that weighed some 6,000 tonnes was worth around 15 million ringit.
The tanker had on board 22 crew members – 16 Malaysians, five Indonesians and a Myanmar national.
The search area now covered 20,000 sq km from Tanjung Penawar in Kota Tinggi to Mersing as well as the maritime territories of Singapore and Indonesia, the official said.
Prime Minister Najib Razak expressed his concern for Orkim Harmony and its crew.
“I am distressed by the news of a missing Malaysian-owned tanker. I pray for the safety of the 22-strong crew of which 16 are Malaysians. My thoughts are with their families. The Government will deploy our resources to locate it,” he said.
Earlier, in his Twitter account, Najib said the tanker was ‘hijacked’.