SANTUBONG, Oct 9 — Sarawak Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director Zin Aman Mh Yunus today said that the search and rescue operation (SAR) to locate four anglers and a skipper whose boat is believed to have capsized in the waters near Karang Berumput and Tukun Bass, off Santubong, on October 1 have been called off.
Zin Aman said that rescue teams from various agencies have been unable to locate any new clues for the missing anglers and the boat skipper despite covering a large area in the seven-day search including today.
“The earlier clue was the finding of an orange lifebuoy in an area of about 34 nautical miles from the mouth of Santubong river and it was confirmed by the boat owner,” he told reporters after meeting with family members of the anglers and the boat skipper.
“Apart from that, there are no new clues, even though we have acquired the assistance from the Fire and Rescue Department’s air unit and the police air unit, however, we still failed to locate the boat and the five persons,” he said.
He said the SAR teams have covered an area of 3144 square nautical miles, involving various personnel and assets from MMEA, Civil Defence Department, Sarawak Coast Guard and the Marine police.
“Therefore, after taking various factors into account, the multi agency SAR operations has been suspended,” he said.
However, he said the agencies involved will do their own separate operations for the missing anglers and the boat skipper.
“Should there are any new clues found, then it will be reported to the police who, in turn, will share such information with other agencies,” Zin Azman said.
He said the SAR operations will then be re-activated.
The boat skipper has been identified as Kamizan bin Zaidi, 40, and the anglers are Yap Tze Kang, 41, Ng Chin Hui , 36, Christoper Teo, 32, and Leo Dy Lee Jiann Tarn, 33.
He said the SAR operations were initiated after the owner of the boat QKH 9826 SZ, Addin Chee Kifli lodged a police report on October 3 that the five persons had not returned from the fishing expedition on October 1.