One catamaran victim suffered dehydration, second degree skin burns – Doctor


KOTA KINABALU: A medical officer told the Sessions Court here yesterday that a patient who was among victims in the tragic capsize of a catamaran while on its way to Mengalum Island in January last year, suffered dehydration and post traumatic stress disorder apart from second degree skin burns on her face and leg.

Doctor Sindhu Karpayah, 31, from the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department of a hospital here testified before judge Noor Hafizah Mohd Salim, that on January 30, 2017 she received four women patients from China, aged between 23 and 49, who were victims of the catamaran tragedy.

She said all the victims suffered first degree skin burns while two of the patients also suffered second degree burns on their faces, legs and arms.

Sindhu explained that the four-degree burns with the first degree is superficial which involves the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin), the second degree burns involved epidermis and half of dermis (beneath epidermis), the third-degree burns involved the whole epidermis and dermis and fourth degree burns involved epidermis, dermis, muscle and bone.

The 36th witness was under the examination in chief by deputy public prosecutor Nartiah F. Mirchelle Sambatan for the trial involving the catamaran tragedy last year.

Three persons, Sharezza Salian, 25, the skipper, together with Leong Vin Jee, 44, the operation manager of Golden Sailing travel company, and Chung Ket Siew @ Chung Siaw Ping, 64, who was the owner of Golden Sailing travel company, face up to 10 charges involving the catamaran boat which sank on its way to Pualau Mengalum in January 28, 2017.

They claimed trial to the charges which were read to them on March 16, 2017.

The trio were charged separately with causing hurt to 20 passengers, all from China aged between 17 and 50, by taking the boat to the sea so negligently as to endanger human life or the personal safety of others. The alleged offence was framed under Section 337 of the Penal Code.

Sharezza, Leong and Chung were also alleged to have negligently caused the death of four China nationals, including two women, aged between 27 and 49, but not amounting to culpable homicide. The charges were framed under Section 304A of the Penal Code.

Sharezza and Leong also face two joint charges of failure to keep on the passenger boat the appropriate safety equipment at all times and for embarking the passengers at Kampung Tanjung Aru Lama jetty here, which is not a designated landing point.

The alleged offences were framed under Rule 16 of the Ports and Harbours (Sabah Licensed Small Ships) Regulations 2008 and Rule 13 of the Ports and Harbours (Ports, Harbours and Dues) Regulations 2008, respectively.

Meanwhile, Leong and his mother, Chung, were jointly accused of failing to keep the boat license on the passenger boat at all times, which was charged under Rule 9 of the Ports and Harbours (Sabah Licensed Small Ships) Regulations 2008.

Chung is also alleged to have employed Sharezza as the skipper of the boat without altering and reporting the particulars of the skipper to the nearest licensing authority, an offence framed under Rule 13 of the Ports and Harbours (Sabah Licensed Small Ships) Regulations 2008.

All of the alleged offences were committed at Kampung Tanjung Aru Lama jetty, a travel company in Asia City here and the waters off the coast of Mengalum Island here between 9.15am and 11am on January 28, 2017.

To a question by Nartiah, Sindhu said that the four women patients had suffered the injuries for at least one day before being admitted to the ward.

She explained that based on the history given by the patients, they have been on sea water for more than 20 hours which were consistent with the examination results she made on the patients.

Nartiah: When they (the victims) were floating in the water, (supposedly) their lower part of the body was under water but you found that their legs were also burned. Why?

Sindhu: That is because they claimed that they were lying on their back while floating in water for a long time.

To another question by Nartiah, Sindhu said that the patients were admitted to the Neurosurgery Ward of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here and two of the patients were warded for eight days while another two for nine days and they were discharged on February 6 and 7, 2017.

¡§What treatments were given to the patients?¡¨ asked Nartiah. ¡§Treatments for burns, pain medication and multivitamins,¡¨ Sindhu answered.

The court fixed March 19 ¡V 20 and April 1 this year for the continuation of trial.

DPP Nartiah appeared together with a DPP from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Nurun Nazifah Muhammad Iyen.

Leong and his mother Chung are defended by counsel Edward Paul while Sharezza is defended by counsel Benazir Japiril Bandaran and Michelle Usman under the National Legal Aid Foundation (NLAF).