1 dead, 1 miss­ing af­ter boat cap­sizes

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA KEDAH: A fish­ing boat car­ry­ing four peo­ple cap­sized af­ter it was hit by a large ship­ping ves­sel some 32 nau­ti­cal miles west of the Kuala Muda es­tu­ary.

The fish­er­men, all Thai na­tion­als, were land­ing their catch. The seas were rough and the rain was heavy when the 3am in­ci­dent oc­curred.

Cap­tain Anukun Matuwet, 58, and three crew mem­bers, Phaisan Dalem, 45, Ekkachai Sut­pra­soet, 33, and Som­chok Sut­pra­soet, 30, man­aged to put on life jack­ets when they saw wa­ter seep­ing into their boat af­ter it was hit.

Anukun used a walkie-talkie to in­form other fish­er­men of their sit­u­a­tion.

How­ever, 30 min­utes af­ter they were hit, their boat cap­sized and the fish­er­men drifted at sea un­til a fish­ing boat came to their res­cue at 8am.

Anukun and Phaisan were res­cued close to each other, while a life­less Ekkachai was spot­ted not far from them.

How­ever, the fish­er­men who res­cued them failed to find Ekkachai’s sib­ling, Som­chok.

Anukun said they were hit from be­hind by a large ves­sel, which was head­ing north.

“Af­ter we were hit, I yelled for help to whomever was on the ship, but no one no­ticed. I used a walkie-talkie to call for help from other fish­er­men.”

He said they went out to sea for sev­eral days and were sup­posed to re­turn to the Kuala Kedah fish­ing jetty to­day.

Malaysian Mar­itime En­force­ment Agency North­ern Re­gion deputy en­force­ment direc­tor Zulinda Ramly said the agency re­ceived a dis­tress call about 11am yes­ter­day.

She said a team was despatched to search for the miss­ing crew mem­bers.

“Our search cov­ers a ra­dius of five nau­ti­cal miles ra­dius from where the boat was re­ported to have cap­sized.”

Zulinda said the res­cue mis­sion would re­sume at 7am to­day.

PIC BY SHARUL HAFIZ ZAM

The body of a Thai fish­er­man, who drowned af­ter his boat cap­sized, is car­ried to shore in Kuala Kedah yes­ter­day.

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