Friday, July 3

Body of fifth victim in boat tragedy found

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BACHOK:  The body of another victim in the boat tragedy some 10 nautical miles from the Kuala Kemasin Base Jetty, following a storm here Monday night was recovered by the search and rescue (SAR) team yesterday morning.

This makes a total of five victims found since the incident was reported at 8pm Monday.

Kelantan Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director Captain Muhd Nur Syam Asmawie Yaacob said the victim was identified as Ahmad Syafiq Che Alim, 30, who was found in a room in the boat at 7am.

Photo shows SAR team members placing the body at Jeti Pengkalan Kuala Kemasin. — Bernama photo

“The SAR team faced difficulties and took an hour in retrieving the victim due to the narrow space in the room and the many ropes placed in it.

“The boat had drifted about 18 nautical miles from the Kuala Kemasin Base Jetty compared to 12.6 nautical miles reported earlier,” he told reporters at the fishing jetty in Kuala Kemasin here yesterday.

Ahmad Syafiq’s remains arrived at the jetty at about 2.15pm.

Speaking further, Muhd Nur Syam said MMEA decided to tow the capsized boat to Muara Kemasin to ease the SAR operations to locate victims feared still trapped inside the boat.

“We had to take this step as the boat is drifting in the middle of the sea and probably will sink to the seabed if no action is taken quickly.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Syafiq’s mother, Ghaniah Deraman, 62, was unable to hold back her grief during the body identification process at the jetty.

“I cannot speak. It is Ahmad Syafiq, he wore a white shirt,” she added.

On Monday, a boat carrying 20 people, including the skipper and crew, capsized following a storm about 10 nautical miles from the Kuala Kemasin Base Jetty.

In the incident, five, including Ahmad Syafiq, were found drowned, three are still missing and another 12 were confirmed to be safe.

Besides Ahmad Syafiq, those who died in the incident were Mohd Syahrizan Daud, in his 40s, Muhamad Zaki Muhamad Nordin, 19, Wan Aminudin Wan Hussin, in his 60s, and a Thai national known only as Pokta, in his 50s.

The three missing men are Arman Ismail, 43, Harun Daud, in his 60s, and Che Wadi Bakar, in his 40s. — Bernama