Boat capsize in Tawau: Last victim found

by BERNAMA / pic credit: Tawau Fire and Rescue Department

TAWAU – The body of the last victim of the boat capsize tragedy involving six siblings in the waters of Batu Payung on Saturday, was found at 8.37am this morning south of the waters of Membalua here.

Tawau Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Maritime Zone deputy director Commander Amiludin Yenggah said the body of Rahena Muhaimin, 20, was found floating face down.

“Rahena’s identity was later confirmed by the victim’s parents. Yesterday villagers found the bodies of Rahen’s younger brothers, Saiful, 15 and Jaidi, 5 stranded on the beach of Batu Payung,” he told reporters today.

In the incident, another three siblings from the family and three others were rescued.

With the discovery of the third victim, the search and rescue operation (SAR) involving various agencies such as police, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force as well as local villagers was called off at 10am.

“The search operation was also assisted by the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) as well as navy of Indonesia to look for the victim in the waters of the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tawau deputy police chief Supt Nor Azizulkifli Mansor said COVID-19 screening carried out by the Health Ministry (MOH) on the two victims, Saiful and Jaidi yesterday found they were positive for the disease.

“Nonetheless, KKM will conduct a second screening as well as test the latest victim and in this regard, I am advising the family of the victims as well as close contacts to undergo quarantine, and if there are symptoms of COVID-19, they should quickly go to the nearest clinic,” he said.

In the incident at about 3.30pm on Saturday (Jan 1), the boat carrying nine individuals including the six siblings overturned after being hit by big waves.