SEGAMAT, Jan 7 — A 63-year-old man became the first drowning victim of the Johor floods, after he was found dead by a search-and-rescue (SAR) team in Kampung Serakek here today.

The victim, identified as Gan Ai Boon, was found at 5.40pm. He was previously reported missing after leaving his house to work on his plantation at 3pm yesterday.

His death was the first reported in Johor that was related to the floods that started last week.

Segamat Fire and Rescue Station head Assistant Fire Superintendent Muhammad Hazim Abd Razak said Gan was believed to have drowned after being swept away by strong currents while crossing a flooded road in the area.

“During the incident, there were strong currents due to the overflow from the water line in the area.

“The victim is believed to have crossed the particular route on his motorcycle before falling and getting swept away by the current,” said Muhammad Hazim in a statement issued tonight.

Muhammad Hazim said the fire station received an emergency call at 4.49pm today before a SAR operation was initiated from the area where the victim’s motorcycle was found.

He added that the search operation involved a total of nine members with the help of two fire machines and a light boat.

Muhammad Hazim said the victim’s body was later found about 50 metres from the location where the operation was launched.

“The SAR operation included using a surface searching method from the victim’s last known location,” he said, adding that the victim’s body was later handed over to the police for autopsy and further action.