Futile search for missing fisherman

A total of 67 personnel from various rescue agencies are seen working to locate a missing fisherman Hendry Belaja after he allegedly fell into the sea on Nov 21.

KUCHING: The fifth day of search and rescue (SAR) efforts to locate a missing fishing boat crew member in Belawai has come up empty handed.

There were still no signs of the missing man, identified as Hendry Belaja, 26, as of 12pm Thursday (Nov 25), according to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sarawak.

It said the search area on Thursday expanded to cover 72 square nautical miles in the waters of Pulau Bruit and Tanjung Manat in Belawai.

“The focus of the search area today covers the waters of Pulau Bruit to Tanjung Manat by MMEA assets.

“Search was also conducted around the coast of Belawai to Tanjung Jerijeh by the State Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) and MMEA from Belawai to Kuala Paloh,” it said on Thursday.

The agency said the five-day SAR operation has covered some 330 square nautical miles of area in total.

The victim was reported to have gone overboard into the water at about 8.5 nautical miles northwest of Tanjung Manat in Belawai.

Maritime Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Kuching received a report from the Belawai police station at 5pm on Sunday regarding the incident.

According to the boat owner, he had received a call from the boat skipper at 4am informing him about the disappearance of the victim who was suspected to have jumped from the boat.