By Chris Maskilone
LAHAD DATU: Vessel operators plying through the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSzone) waters are advised to take extra precautionary measures as well as constantly update their movements with ESScom Operation Rooms to avoid falling prey to criminals.
ESScom Commander, DCP Datuk Hazani Ghazali issued the reminder following a robbery attempt on a tugboat at Tambisan waters off Lahad Datu at about 6pm yesterday.
During the incident, the tugboat which was carrying palm oil from Felda Sahabat to Kuantan, Pahang when it was approached and boarded by a group of unidentified men numbering about 10 at the Tambisan waters.
However, the crew managed to escape by hiding inside a locked deck where they were able to contact the security forces.
Upon realising the presence of the security boats, the men left the tugboat and fled the scene empty handed.
Hazani also called on all operators to activate their vessel’s AIS, report their planned route and use distress call in the event of an emergency so that ESScom can take necessary actions including dispatching security boats to assist them.
According to him, ESScom would never compromise on the issue of security and continues to monitor apart from tightening security patrols in the ESSzone waters particularly in hotspot areas believed used by cross-border criminals to pass through and commit crimes.
Towards this end, he said cooperation from all vessel operators to update their location to the ESScom Operation Centre was crucial in ensuring the safety of the vessel and crew.-SabahNewsToday