Parit Jawa, Johor, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

A Chinese fisherman drowned while 14 others were reportedly missing after a Chinese-owned sand-dredging vessel overturned in the waters off the Malaysian state of Johor on Wednesday morning.

A 8:50am, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency’s Batu Pahat base received a distress call from the JBB Rong Chang 8, a vessel working off Parit Jawa in Muar district, Johor, Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia) reported.

Joint search and rescue operations were launched by the Maritime Enforcement Agency, the Fire and Rescue Department, and police.

One Chinese fisherman had drowned at the scene, while three others, also Chinese, were saved and sent to hospital.

It was learned that the vessel had been carrying 18 men at the time of the incident, meaning that 14 others – 12 Chinese, a Malay and an Indonesian – were missing.

According to the Sun Daily (Malaysia), a team of divers were sent from the SOS Maritime Center in the Chinese province of Guangdong and were scheduled to arrive in Muar district on Thursday to assist in search and rescue operations.