Sabah and Sarawak are pushing for autonomy and equal status they say were part of agreement to create Malaysia in 1963.
A crew member of a Malaysian offshore support vessel has drowned after his ship collided with the oil rig it was servicing off Malaysian Borneo in poor weather, the coastguard said on Tuesday, but more than 100 other sailors were rescued.
The ship, the Dayang Topaz, rammed into the beramB oil platform after its anchor cable broke, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) chief Mohamad Zubil Mat Som said in a statement.
The crew member drowned after jumping into the sea along with 124 others, who were later rescued, Mohamad Zubil added.
“Hence, 124 of the 125 crew who had jumped into the sea have been rescued while one of them died in the incident.”
Mohamad Zubil did not identify the lone fatality.
125 crewmen jumped off Dayang Topaz when the maintenance vessel capsized 7.7 nautical miles off Kuala Baram in Miri this morning.
Out of 125 crewmen, 121 have been saved, one died while another one still missing.
— Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency pic.twitter.com/5qU4gDAwI1
— BERNAMA TV 🇲🇾 (@BernamaTV) October 27, 2020
The beramB platform is operated by Petronas Carigali, the oil exploration unit of Malaysia’s state oil firm Petronas.
According to Mohamad Zubil, the crew lost control of the ship after the cable broke, sending the ship crashing into the oil rig and sank.
Images posted on social media showed the beramB platform with the twisted metal remains of a broken crane and lifter.
Another photo showed dozens of crew members squeezed in a life raft as they were being rescued.
Brunei’s national search agency and local fishermen helped Malaysian authorities in the rescue effort, Malaysian authorities said.
But turbulent sea conditions made it difficult for rescuers to carry out the operation.