By Malcolm Lau
KUCHING, Sept 21: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) will acquire three offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and four helicopters to add to its current assets.
Its director-general Admiral (Maritime) Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the construction of the first vessel will start in November at Klang, Selangor and is expected to be completed next year.
“The 80-metre long vessel can stay at sea for 30 days without refilling supplies on it and it will be stationed in Sarawak after its construction is completed.
“APMM’s purchase of four helicopters have also been approved and expected to be tendered at the end of the year,” Mohd Zubil during a media conference at KOMTAS here today.
He also witnessed the handing over of duties ceremony between outgoing director of APMM Sarawak First Admiral (Maritime) Robert Teh Geok Chuan and incoming state director Captain (Maritime) Zin Azman Md Yunus.
Mohd Zubil also suggested that the marine communities install a Personal Locater Beacon (PLB) on their boat when going out to sea.
“In case of an emergency, communities can activate their PLB and APMM will be able to located the location accurately,” he said, adding that they could contact APMM to ask for information about the latest weather conditions before going out to the sea.
“The communities must also make sure that they have sufficient supplies on the boat as well. Most importantly, the communities must wear life jacket at all times when they go out to the sea,” he added.
Zubil pointed out that with a life jacket on them, their survival rate will increase and they might be able to survive for more than eight hours at sea if any incident happened. -DayakDaily