JOHOR BARU: The search and rescue (SAR) operation to find the missing victims of the boat which capsized in the waters off Kota Tinggi last Monday, has been stopped.
Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) deputy director of operations, Capt Sanifah Yusof said the agency decided to call off the operation at 7.30pm yesterday as there were no new leads and a slim chance of finding the victims.
The SAR operation was immediately launched after the boat carrying 44 passengers from Indonesia capsized on July 2.
"Twenty four men and a woman were rescued, while seven men and four women were found dead. The remaining eight had not been found," he said in a statement today.
He said all the 44 victims were illegal immigrants aged between 20 and 40 years.
Sanifah said that although the operation had stopped, regular patrols would be carried out in the area as usual and the operation could be relaunched if there were any new leads.