Indonesian man feared drowned near Kuala Tatau after falling off ship while playing with phone

The enforcement teams and assets on standby for the SAR operation at Bintulu marine base on Feb 27, 2024.

TATAU, Feb 27: An Indonesian man is feared to have drowned after falling off a ship while playing with his smartphone, approximately 5.5 nautical miles from the Kuala Tatau riverbank on Monday (Feb 26).

The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sarawak responded to a request for an additional boat for the search and rescue (SAR) mission at 8.59am yesterday.

A team of firefighters from the Tatau Station was mobilised for the second day of the operation today.

Despite attempts by the victim’s colleague to rescue him, they were unsuccessful as the victim disappeared under the surface of the water.

Upon arrival at the Bintulu Marine base, a briefing was conducted for the SAR operation, which involved various enforcement agencies including the marine police, Bomba, police, and the Civil Defence Force (APM).

However, due to unfavourable weather and water level conditions, the SAR operation could not be immediately launched. The teams remained on standby mode, awaiting improvement in weather and water conditions.

Unfortunately, the operation could not proceed as the weather and water levels were still not favourable for safety purposes.

The SAR operation was postponed at 5.30pm today and will resume at 8am tomorrow (Feb 28). — DayakDaily