The search and rescue operation (SAR) to locate the three missing crew members of oil tanker MT Pablo which caught fire on May 1, has been suspended until new leads are found.

Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the operation, which entered its fifth day, was called off at 7 pm on May 5.

He said that yesterday, the search was conducted onboard the vessel. However, there was no evidence that the three missing crew members were still onboard.

“Based on the vessel’s safety assessment, the Johor Bahru Maritime Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) has postponed the search operation until new leads are found,” he said in a statement today.

He said the search mission involved 31 MMEA officers and personnel as well as 11 personnel from the Hazardous Material (Hazmat) unit of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM).

The three missing crew members were identified as Indian nationals - Satyam Tripathi, 26, and Dinesh Kumar Chauhan, 34; and a Ukrainian, Sabit Shenderovskyi, 37.

The tanker MT Pablo registered in Gabon, Africa, caught fire about 37.5 nautical miles northeast of Tanjung Sedili, Kota Tinggi on May 1.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency