MISSING AT SEA
DUNGUN: A search and rescue operation for four Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Polytechnic (PSMZA) students feared drowned at Pantai Teluk Bidara, has now been extended 15 kilometres to Pantai Sura, here.
One of the students, Muhammad Zul Fahmi Zuki, 21, feared drowned at Pantai Teluk
Bidara, was never known to have taken a dip in the water whenever he came to the beach before.
His father Zuki Ab Razak, 53, said he did not expect his son to have gone swimming with his five friends yesterday afternoon because the second of five siblings did not know how to swim.
“Since childhood Zul Fahmi had never taken a dip in the sea if taken to the beach and he also did not know how to swim,” he told Bernama when met at the scene yesterday.
He also said Muhammad, who was active in sports, had also not returned to his home in Kemaman for the past three weeks as he was busy training for the PSMZA sports tournament.
Zuki said he only learned of the incident when a mother of another student feared drowned contacted him at 7pm yesterday.
He said although it was difficult, he was resigned to what had happened and hoped the remains of his son and three other friends were found as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, a witness, Mohamed Irfan Kamarulzaman, 21, who was also the victim’s friend, said he and another friend Mohammad Hazman Mohd Zamili, 21, tried to rescue their four friends but could not due to the huge waves.
“We tried to help them by throwing floats we borrowed from the public but to no avail. I didn’t dare to jump into the water because I don’t know how to swim. Only Amir (Mohamad Amir Izzudin Zulkiflee) was seen floating for a while before he too drowned like the others,” he said.
In the 6.30 pm incident, Muhammad Zul Fahmi, Mohamad Amir Izzudin, Muhamad Luqman Hakim Al Rashid Mohamed Sabarudin and Muhammad Ikhwan Ahmad Azhan, all aged 21, were said to have been lounging at a rocky area of the beach when they slipped and fell into the water before being swept away by the waves.
Terengganu Fire and Rescue Department operations division assistant director Senior Superintendent II Mohd Salahuddin Isa said, for the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation the department’s Water Rescue Unit (PPDA) was using the surface searching method and patrol boats to comb the area.
Meanwhile, the department’s deputy director Sharikan Bustaman said the search was extended to Pantai Sura as bodies of drowned victims were usually found around this location, so much so the locals call it ‘Teluk Mayat.’
Sharikan said 36 firefighters, 23 Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency personnel, 15 policemen, 10 Civil Defence Force personnel, six marine policemen, three People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) members and four civilians were involved in the SAR operation. – Bernama