KOTA KINABALU: The father of Armella Ali Hasan yelled on the phone and cried when he received a call that his daughter was found safe and alive.
I asked him to sit down because I have some good news to tell him he just yelled out and I could hear him cry over the telephone, said Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Malaysian Maritime) Sabah and Labuan director First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som.
Relating the good news to Ali Hassan Hj Mohd Dusi, Mohd Zubil said he had been in contact with the 61-year-old father since the day of the incident.
I have been in contact with all the family members since the day of the incident.
After confirming that the four have been found by Vietnamese fishermen, I called Ali Hassan to give him the good news.
When he picked up my call I asked if he was standing or sitting. He said he was standing so I asked him to sit down.
He asked me why, his voice was slightly trembling.
I then said, ‘Pakcik, aku ada berita baik nak bagitau pakcik’ (Uncle, I have good news to tell uncle).
I then heard him yell on the phone and he was crying and thanking me, thanking God and thanking everyone, said Mohd Zubil yesterday.
Armella or better known as Ella, 23, Spaniards David Hernandes Gasulla, 29, and Martha Miguel, 30, and Tommy Lam Lai Yin from China, 44, were reported missing since May 2 when they failed to arrive at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau after leaving Kampung Batu Sirih, Balambangan Island.
On May 12 reports were received that the four have been found by Vietnamese fishermen in Malaysian waters.
The confirmation was made by Mohd Zubil on May 12, exactly 10 days since the incident happened.
Meanwhile, Mohd Zubil thanked all parties involved in the search and rescue operation for their continuous efforts without giving up hope.
I have told Ali Hassan, the family of David, Martha and Tommy that we would find them and we would never give up.
I like to take this opportunity to thank all parties, namely the the Royal Malaysian Navy, the Royal Malaysian Police Marine, the Fire and Rescue Department, the Malaysian Air Force, the Department of Aviation, as well as the Kudat Fishermen Association, for their assistance and support during the whole operations, he said.