Search continues for skipper, anglers reported missing at sea since Oct 3

Bomba Air Unit personnel taking part in SAR operations on its Mi171 helicopter.

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By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Oct 7: Search and rescue (SAR) operations for five individuals who have gone missing in the waters of Karang Berumput/Tukun Bass since October 3 have yet to yield any new clues as to their whereabouts.

With today being their fifth day of SAR, MMEA Sarawak director First Admiral Zin Azman Md Yunus said the search covered an area of 526.74 square nautical miles, concentrating on waters around Besi Buruk, Tukun Bass, Karang Berumput, from Tanjung Sipang to Telaga Air and Sungai Trombol.

The operations are being coordinated by the Maritime Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) under Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and jointly assisted by other agencies namely Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Sarawak Coast Guard, Civil Defense Force (APM) and Sarawak Marine Fisheries.

In the morning, a MI 171 helicopter belonging to Bomba which was piloted by PgKB I Sofian Ahmed and PgKB I Mohd Ruzaidi Ramlee, and a PDRM helicopter and Maritime KM Sri Aman personnel combed the sea covering some 15 nautical miles.

A total of 110 personnel were involved, on ground and water including several members of the local maritime community and fishing boats.

Bomba pilots PgKB I Sofian Ahmed (second right) and PgKB I Mohd Ruzaidi Ramlee (left) being briefed by a MMEA officer before they took part in SAR operations for five individuals who were reported missing in the waters of Karang Berumput/Tukun Bass since October 3., 2021

“The weather conditions today was windy with a wave height of between 2.5 metres to 3.5 metres and a wind speed of 40 to 50 kilometres per hour.

“Due to the unpredictable weather, small-sized assets have been instructed to standby at the Telaga Air public jetty because today’s search was mainly focusing on 15 miles area-nautical upwards. These assets will be deployed in the event of a new indication found,” Zin Azman said.

The missing victims are Khamizan Saidi, 40 (skipper); and anglers Ng Ching Hui, 36; Christopher Teo, 32; Yap Tze Kang, 41; and Leo Dy Lee Jiann Tarn, 35.

They were reported missing by boat owner Addin Chee Kifli who lodged a police report at the Santubong Police Station on Oct 3 at 7am.

As of 5pm today, the missing boat and its occupant have yet to be found.

It was understood that the fiber boat with registration number QKH 9826 SZ did not return after leaving Jetty 98 at the Santubong fishing village on Oct 1. None of the boat’s occupants could be contacted after that.

Meanwhile, Zin Azman added that the SAR Forward Base (PHC) at Telaga Air public jetty will be relocated to Sarawak Marine Fisheries department jetty in Santubong from tomorrow (Oct 8) onwards until the operation ends due to logistic factors and safety of the rescue team. — DayakDaily