Bomba Air Unit carries out mercy flight, delivers food aid to flood-affected villages in Baram

Bomba Air Unit personnel carrying the elderly man to the helicopter for the mercy flight from Long Sait to Miri Hospital.

By Tedong Rantayy

MARUDI, June 12: The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Air Unit delivered food baskets to flood-affected victims in Kampung Long Kerong and Kampung Long Sait.

According to Marudi Bomba station chief, Maureen Sim, the mission also included a mercy flight to transport a man, 84, from Long Sait to Miri Hospital for urgent medical treatment.


Using a Mi-171 helicopter (M99404), the team, piloted by PPjB Sofian Ahmed @ Ibrahim and co-piloted by PgKB II Robert James, embarked on their mission from Miri at 10.46am, arriving in Long Sait by mid-morning.

After completing the delivery of aid, the helicopter took off from Long Sait at 11.55am, transporting the elderly patient to Miri Hospital, where they arrived safely at 12.56pm.

The food baskets, provided by the Social Welfare Department, were distributed as part of an ongoing relief effort that began on June 7.

On the first day, 207 food packs were delivered to Long Sait and 158 to Long Kerong. The second day of delivery saw an additional 130 packs, totaling 1.3 tonnes of supplies, distributed between the two villages.

Due to challenging terrain and limited accessibility, the relief operations required meticulous planning and execution, Sim said.

The helicopter could not land directly in Long Kerong because of an unsuitable landing point, necessitating that all food supplies be sent directly to Long Sait. The delivery involved two sorties, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, to ensure all supplies reached their destination.

The journey to these remote villages typically involves an arduous eight to nine hour drive from Marudi to Selungo town using a four-wheel-drive vehicle, contingent on weather and road conditions.

From Selungo Bridge, the travel continues by ting-ting boat, which can accommodate only two people—a driver and a passenger. High tides allow the boat to reach Long Sait directly; however, during low tide, the boat must be pulled over rocks or left behind if the water is too shallow, necessitating a two-hour walk to Long Sait. An additional hour’s walk is required to reach Long Kerong from Long Sait.

The flooding in these villages has been attributed to prolonged heavy rains in the upper reaches of the river, which has led to significant and rapid rises in water levels. The rocky and fast-flowing nature of the river exacerbates the situation, creating hazardous conditions for the local inhabitants, predominantly from the Penan community. — DayakDaily