5 drowned in boat capsize in Semporna, Sabah

5 drowned in boat capsize in Semporna, Sabah

SEMPORNA: Five individuals were found drowned when a pump boat carrying 20 passengers capsized off Pulau Tandoan, Timbun Mata near here late yesterday.

Director of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for the Semporna Maritime Zone, Maritime Commander Norrimi Hassan said 13 of the passengers were rescued by villagers, while two others were still missing.

He said the victims still missing were identified as 14-year-old girl, known as Noranis, and a six-year-old boy, known only as Aiman, both from Kampung Sungai Nakit near here.

On the drowned victims that were found, he said, they were aged between one and 33 years and comprised two women, two girls and a boy.

“All the 20 passengers in the boat are believed to be locals and they were from Kampung Bakung Bakung going to Kampung Tandoan. The boat is also believed to be overloaded and the weather then was not good,” he said when contacted by reporters here today.

He also said that the search and rescue (SAR) operation was activated at 11.45 pm yesterday.

Pulau Tandoan is about 4 kilometres from Semporna, a district on the east coast of Sabah.

Norrimi said the SAR operation involved 11 MMEA personnel and two boats.

“Also involved in the SAR mission are five firefighters and the search covers area along Terusan Sigalong to Timbun Mata,“ he added.

Meanwhile, the MMEA Carilamat Forward Base was opened at the Tourism Jetty, Semporna. — Bernama