MUKAH: Inclement weather hampered the fifth day of the search and rescue (SAR) operation for a local fisherman who was reported missing after the fishing boat he was in capsized on Sept 20.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Bintulu Zone director Captain Mohd Khairol Anuar Saad said as of 12pm, the weather took a turn and the sea became choppy.
Wind speeds of between 40km and 50km per hour and waves of around 2.5m to 3.5m high were recorded, making it difficult for the SAR team.
He added that the search yesterday (Sept 26), covered 69.36 square nautical miles and focused around the Kampung Tirah Mukah coast.
This brings the overall search area to 1,040.12 square nautical miles.
Some 48 rescuers from various agencies, including local fishermen, are taking part in the operation in five boats.
As at press time, the victim identified as Wong Ikkong, is yet to be found.
On Sept 20, a fishing boat carrying 11 people comprising the skipper, crew and anglers, capsized around 8.30pm, some 34 nautical miles northwest of Mukah.
The first two individuals were found and rescued by MT Cappela on Wednesday (Sept 21) and according to them, they had departed from PENAKUB jetty, Mukah on Sept 19 to fish in the sea.
Later on Sept 22, eight victims were found by the rescuers, six of them alive and two others dead.
Mohd Khairol disclosed that the survivors are crew members Lingsan Spawi and Anuar Spawi, and fishermen Wong Chiang Hie, Lewis Yung Koh Ing, Chieng Hock Hung, Wang Ting Ping, Chong Fei Foo and Lee Sie Soon.
Meanwhile, the victims who were found dead, have been identified as skipper Sabli Jun and fisherman Wong Siaw Tiang.