17/06/2024 09:44 PM

SIBU, June 17 (Bernama) –Rescuers today were unable to locate the two missing victims of yesterday’s boat capsizing incident in Long Menjawah, Belaga as bad weather and strong currents hampered their search efforts.

The search and rescue (SAR) operations began at 7.55 am. Around noon, the SAR team, comprising firefighters, police, the Civil Defence Force (APM), and Rela, was handed a slipper belonging to one of the victims.

The right foot slipper was discovered floating near the Jeram Menjawah waterfalls by a member of the public.

“The operations commander confirmed that the slipper found belongs to one of the missing victims, as the left slipper was still in the capsized boat,” a spokesperson from the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department Operations Centre (PGO) said in a statement today.

The SAR operation was suspended at 4.30 pm. 

The missing victims, Balavishnu Permaloo, 36, and Rhuban Apparoo, 30, both from Sungai Karangan, Padang Serai, Kedah, were with two colleagues and the boatman when the boat capsized at around 4 pm yesterday.

The employees of a maintenance company for the Bakun Dam had rented a boat for sightseeing, but it capsized due to strong currents at Jeram Menjawah.

The boatman attempted to save all the passengers, but two were swept away by the strong currents.

Today's SAR operation was delayed several times due to heavy rain, starting at 1.30 pm, with strong currents making the search area unsafe, the spokesperson said.

Operations resumed at 3 pm when the weather cleared but had to be suspended again at 4.30 pm due to rain and fading daylight, he added. 

The search will resume at 8.30 am tomorrow.




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