SAR operations continues on despite bad weather
By:Allan Jay
Date:
KCH-psar-0510-aj-6

KUCHING: The search and rescue (SAR) operation for Awang Omar Awang Hasmawi who was reported missing on Oct 2 — as well as five other individuals reported missing on Oct 3 — continued on Tuesday (Oct 5) despite difficult weather conditions.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sarawak director First Admiral Maritime Zin Azman Md Yunus said the weather was reported to be windy with wind speeds from 40 to 50km per hour and waves around 2.5 to 3.5m high.

Despite that, the operations had enlisted the assistance of two Sarawak Coast Guard vessels — SC Barracuda and SC Tenggiri — for the search at sea.

“The search for 59-year-old Awang Omar covers an area of 450.24 square nautical miles with its main focus around Santubong waters, Pulau Satang, Pulau Sampadi up to Tanjung Datu.

“A total of 75 personnel from MMEA Sarawak, Marine Police, Sarawak Marine Fisheries Department, Sarawak Fire Department, Civil Defence Force and Sarawak Coast Guards, and 10 marine assets are involved in the operation,” he said, adding that several fishing boats of the maritime community also participated.

For the search by air, an Ecureuil AS355N helicopter from the Police Air Unit (PGU) carried out their search from Santubong to Tanjung Datu.

Meanwhile, for the search of five anglers aged between 32 and 41, Zin said that the operations involving 90 personnel from various agencies covered an area of 381.48 square nautical miles.

The main focus area by the Maritime KM Sri Aman, a 45-metre ship which can be at sea for 14 days, is carried out around the area the fishing boat was reported missing that is around Karang Berumput-Tukun Bass waters up to Tanjung Datu waters, 15 nautical miles from the coast and above.

“The search by air was carried out by a Miri Fire Department MI-171 helicopter from Sarawak Regional Air Base, in Santubong waters up to Tanjung Datu, 15 miles from the coast down.

“Eight fishing boats from the maritime community also participated in search and they were divided into two search groups, one to the east and another to the west of the location the anglers were reported missing,” he said.

As of 3pm, rescuers have yet to discover any new clues regarding the locations of all six missing victims.

He advised the maritime community to not go out to sea if the weather is bad.

Should there be an urge to go, always prioritise safety by wearing life jackets. The agency noted that the weather conditions right now are not favourable, especially with the northeast monsoon season which could last until March next year.

New Sarawak Tribune e-Paper

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