Saturday, January 29

Search ongoing for missing fishing boat crew member in Belawai


APM joining the SAR operation. — MMEA Sarawak photo

SIBU (Nov 22): The Maritime Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Kuching activated a search and rescue (SAR) operation at 5.30pm on Sunday after a fishing boat crew member fell into Belawai waters.

According to Tanjung Manis Maritime Zone director Commander Gilbert Tinggak, the local man fell into the water at about 8.5 nautical miles northwest of Tanjung Manat in Belawai.

He said that MRSC Kuching received a report from the Belawai police station at 5pm on Sunday regarding the incident.

“According to the boat owner, he received a call from the boat skipper at 4am informing him about the disappearance of the victim who was suspected to have jumped from the boat.

“The victim is identified as Hendry Belaja, 26,” he said in a statement.

Gilbert said the SAR operation today focused on an area of 60 nautical miles from Pulau Bruit to Tanjung Manat and around the Kuala Paloh estuary.

He said MRSC Kuching coordinated the operation together with the police, Marine Police, Fire and Rescue Department (BOMBA) and Civil Defence Force (APM) involving 45 officers and personnel.

It also involved four assets from Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Marine Police, Bomba and APM.

He urged the maritime community to cancel their intention to go to sea during bad weather especially with the northeast monsoon season now which is expected to last until March next year.

“If they need to go to the sea, they must prioritise safety by always wearing a safety jacket.

“The maritime community may also report any incident at sea by calling the MMEA Sarawak operations centre on 082-432544 or 999 or Tanjung Manis Maritime Zone operations centre at 084-613292,” he said.