Six bodies found believed to be victims of Tawau speedboat capsize tragedy

09 Feb 2017 / 18:34 H.

TAWAU: Police confirmed that six bodies believed to be victims of a speedboat capsize tragedy in the waters of Batu Payung, near here, on Tuesday, had been found up to 11am today.
Tawau district police chief ACP Fadil Marsus said the six bodies were found by Indonesian authorities in the Sebatik waters, Sungai Taiwan area, Indonesia and around the Karang Unarang waters.
"According to information from the Indonesian Consulate here, the bodies found were that of an adult man, two women including one who was pregnant, and three male children.
"All the six bodies were taken to Nunukan by the Indonesian authorities," he told reporters, here today.
Fadil said the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities, meanwhile, were still trying to locate the seven other boat passengers missing.
On Tuesday, a speedboat carrying 15 Indonesian nationals including the skipper, capsized, believed to be hit by turbulent waves about five to minutes after leaving from the Tinagat Batu Payung jetty at 5.30pm for Sungai Nyamuk, Indonesia.
Two of them managed to swim to safety to Batu Payung beach.
Meanwhile, in KOTA KINABALU, two of the five missing victims of the Jan 28 sunken boat incident in Sabah have been confirmed dead.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Regional Director for Sabah and Labuan, Maritime First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som said both victims were confirmed dead by their next of kin who survived the incident.
"According to him, during the incident, he (next of kin) removed the life jackets of both victims whom he had found to have died and gave the jackets to other victims who were still alive," he told reporters, here today.
He said that following the information, the search and rescue operation (SAR) which entered its 13th day today, was continued to search for two bodies and three other victims who were missing.
"The SAR will focus on an area measuring 350 nautical square miles in the Kota Kinabalu waters involving 300 personnel and 11 assets comprising 10 ships and boats and an aircraft," he said.
In the tragedy, a tourist catamaran carrying 28 tourists from China and three crew members, sank after it was believed to have been hit by strong winds and big waves while going toward Pulau Mengalum.
So far, 26 victims have been found including four who had died. – Bernama

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