Family picnic turns tragic as siblings drown in Matang


A Bomba photo shows its personnel searching the river for the two victims.

KUCHING (May 16): A picnic at Sungai Rayu in Matang turned tragic for 14 members of a family yesterday after two of them drowned.

The deceased were identified as Lee Jun Suhia, 34, and his sister Huai Fen, 17.

The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) in a statement said the body of the elder sibling was found at 5.48pm while the younger victim’s body was recovered about an hour later.

It said a distress call on the incident was received at 4.05pm, prompting the deployment of personnel from the Petra Jaya and Batu Lintang fire stations and Bomba frogmen to the scene.

“Bomba divers made their first dive at 5.40pm but could not locate the victims. Subsequent dives located the male victim at 5.48pm and the female victim at 6.43pm.

“The bodies were handed over to Lundu police for further action,” said the statement.

Speaking to See Hua Daily News earlier, a family member said they arrived at Sungai Rayu from their home at Sungai Tengah, Matang at around 1pm.

She said Jun Suhia’s wife had encountered difficulties in the water and that he jumped into the river to rescue her despite not knowing how to swim.

After successfully rescuing his wife, Jun Suhia noticed that Huai Fen was also struggling in the water and swam back out to rescue her.

However, the family member said halfway to reaching his sister, Jun Suhia vanished underwater, followed by Huai Fen moments later.