Sunday, January 19

Boat operator struck by propeller, dies


KOTA KINABALU: A boat operator was killed after he was believed to be struck by a boat propeller at the Safma fish market here yesterday.

Family members grieving over the victim’s body yesterday. – Photo by Aniq Azraei.

The alleged suspect being taken away by police yesterday.- Photo by Aniq Azraei.

In the 5.30pm incident, the victim Asnadi Akmarin, 19, a foreigner, succumbed to serious leg and body injuries and died at the scene.

It is believed that prior to the incident, the victim had a misunderstanding with another boat operator which led to a fight between both men at the Safma fish market.

It was said that the victim fell into the sea and was then run over by a speed boat driven by the suspect.

According to an eyewitness, Masto Welson, 35, the victim fell into the sea and was then run over by the suspect’s boat.

“He (the victim) was run over by the speed boat and was struck by the engine propeller,” said Masto, when met at the scene yesterday.

According to Masto, he and another boat operator then pulled the victim out from the water and brought the victim to the marine police jetty at Jeselton Point.

The victim however died after reaching the jetty.

Meanwhile, the victim’s brother Anuar Akmarin, 24, when met said, prior to the incident, he received a call from the victim asking for help around 5.24pm.

“He asked me where I was and asked me to come over as someone wanted to beat him.

“Then I lost contact and when I tried to call my brother, he did not pick-up the phone.

“A couple of minutes later, I received a call from a friend saying that my brother was dead and his body was at the marine jetty,” said the victim’s brother.

Meanwhile, city police chief ACP Ahmad Sofi Zakaria, who was at the scene, said initial police investigation showed that both the victim and suspect were under the influence of alcohol, which led to the fight.

Police believe the victim had fallen into the sea and was hit by a hard object, “ … but we are still investigating,” he said, adding that a man had been detained to facilitate police investigation.

Sofi said the case would be investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.