S/Y Phocea Catches Fire off Malaysia

18 February 2021 By Staff Report

On the morning of February 18, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) rescued seven crewmembers from a yacht — reported to be 75-meter S/Y Phocea by AFP — that caught fire while anchored about 0.6 nautical miles of Pulau Singa Kecil, Malaysia, local media Bernama reports.

Kedah and Perlis MMEA director Maritime First Admiral Mohd Zawawi Abdullah says the fire was detected by patrol vessel KM (Kapal Maritim) Tenggol, which then relayed the information to the Langkawi Maritime Rescue Sub Center (MRSC) at 8:18 a.m. local time.

The crew were transferred to KM Tenggol and were unharmed and safe. Bernama reports in his statement that as of the afternoon, efforts to extinguish the fire persisted as the strong wind conditions were making the operation difficult. Firefighters were still battling flames in the evening, according to Malay Mail.

There was no reported oil spill, and MMEA will continue to monitor the situation.

UPDATE: 02/22/2021

After catching on fire, 75-meter S/Y Enigma, formerly S/Y Phocea, sunk off the coast of Malaysia, an official confirmed on February 21, The Straits Times/AFP reports. Malaysia’s coast guard said they believed the vessel sank near Langkawi at about 5 or 6 a.m. on Friday, February 19.

Senior coast guard official Mohamad Zawawi Abdullah told AFP, "We managed to control the fire, but the damage to the hull caused by the fire may have caused the yacht to sink."

Government officials are investigating the cause of the fire.

Photo: Stephen Crone's Facebook post