Authorities expand search area for missing Singaporean kayakers in Mersing

SINGAPORE, Aug 10 — Singapore authorities are supporting the ongoing search operations to locate two Singaporeans who went missing while kayaking in Mersing waters on Thursday.

The republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said since the two Singaporeans were reported missing on August 9, 2019, the Singapore Consulate-General in Johor Baru had been in close contact with the Malaysian authorities coordinating the search operations.

“A team from our Consulate-General is currently on the ground to provide assistance and close support,” MFA said in a statement here.

The MFA said the Ministry and the Consulate-General will continue to render consular assistance to the next-of-kin of the missing Singaporeans and support the ongoing search operations.

It was reported that the victims, Tan Eng Soon, 52, and Puah Geok Tin, 64, were believed to have drifted from a group of 13 other Singaporeans who were kayaking with them from the Penyabong jetty in Mersing at 5.40pm Thursday due to rough seas and strong winds.

A member of the group lodged a report on the two missing persons at the Rompin Police station in Pahang at 10.30am Friday after they efforts to find the duo came to no avail.

Meanwhile, in Johor, Mersing Zone Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director, Commander Maritime Haris Fadzillah Abdullah said the search area for the two Singaporean kayakers had been expanded up to 150 square nautical miles today Tanjung Resang in Mersing, Johor, to Kuala Rompin in neighbouring Pahang, today.

He said the search and rescue mission had been activated at the Penyabong jetty since yesterday and would operate around the clock.

The operations involved the air unit and three boats of the MMEA, Royal Malaysia Police, as well as Fire and Rescue Department and Civil Defence Department personnel. — Bernama

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