MMEA: Search area for missing Singaporean kayakers in Johor expanded

MMEA said the search and rescue operation for two Singaporeans reported missing while kayaking in the Endau-Mersing waters on Thursday was expanded to 500 nautical square miles today. — Picture by Dawn Chin
MMEA said the search and rescue operation for two Singaporeans reported missing while kayaking in the Endau-Mersing waters on Thursday was expanded to 500 nautical square miles today. — Picture by Dawn Chin

JOHOR BARU, Aug 11 — The search and rescue (SAR) operation for two Singaporeans reported missing while kayaking in the Endau-Mersing waters on Thursday was expanded to 500 nautical square miles today.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency’s (MMEA) Mersing zone director Maritime Commander Haris Fadzillah Abdullah told Bernama that the search area now stretches from the north of Pulau Seri Buat, Pahang to the north-west of Pulau Tioman, with the SAR team comprising 50 personnel from various agencies, with a helicopter from the MMEA also deployed.

The missing pair comprising Tan Eng Soon, a 62-year-old man and Puah Geok Tin, a 57-year-old woman, was reported missing after their kayak was separated from a group of 13 friends who were on a kayak expedition from Endau-Mersing towards Pulau Mertang at about 5pm, during rough sea and wind conditions.

Haris Fadzillah said the SAR operation was hampered by continuing rough weather with winds of up to 30 kilometres an hour and 1.5 metre high waves in East Johor waters, while the haze made the situation more challenging.

Meanwhile, Johor MMEA director First Admiral Aminuddin Abdul Rashid, in a statement, said a briefing was held at his office today for the Singapore consul-general in Johor Baru, Rajpal Singh, and family members of the missing pair, for an update on the operation. — Bernama