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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Still no sign of missing four and boat

KOTA KINABALU - There was still no sign of the white boat and outboard engine which was reported to have been seen in the seabed off Simpang Mengayau in Kudat on Monday.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Sabah/ Labuan Regional Director First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som said a team of divers from the MMEA and navy, conducted three dives in search of the said boat and outboard engine with no luck.

Fishermen assisted in the search and started to trawl their nets at the site at about 1.30pm with still no sign of the boat at press time.

On Sunday, two engines and a white boat was initially claimed to have been stuck to the fishing net of a fisherman at about 10am some 2.8 nautical miles off Simpang Mengayau.

The fisherman, known only as Amir, only managed to pull one of the engines from the water.

Based on the fisherman as well as verification by the brother of the missing vessel's owner, Tommy Lam Lai Yin, the boat could be the one boarded by four people reported missing since Monday.

Mohd Zubil had on Sunday however said they will have to wait for the boat and the other engine to be found before they can verify this.

Tommy Lam, 44, a Chinese national, is also the owner of a resort in Tanjung Simpang Mengayau.

The other three missing were identified as 30-year-old Spaniards, David Hernandes and his wife Martha Miguel, and Malaysian Armella Alihassan, 23.

They were reported missing by their friend, Helen Mackri when they failed to return to their hotel in Simpang Mengayau at about 8pm on Monday after they left Kg Batu Sirih, Pulau Balambangan in a fibreglass boat at about 5.30pm the same day.

The MMEA deployed its KM Memmon, KM Ikhlas, Cenderawasih 10 , Kilat 1 and Dauphin aircraft as search and rescue operations entered its seventh day on Monday.

Two family members of the missing Spaniards also arrived at Kudat on the Dauphin aircraft at about 1.30pm.

The search operation covered 400 nautical miles in the waters off Simpang Mengayau with two naval ships, KD Sri Johor and KD Perak, and two marine police boats RH18 and RH49 joining in the search.

Two boats from the Fire and Rescue Department were also deployed to the area together with the air force Beachcraft aircraft.

A Superlink aircraft also arrived at the area at about 6.30am and conducted search in the waters around Pulau Kalampunian and along the coastal area of Kota Belud.

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