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Friday, February 10, 2017

Missing crewman gave up life jacket to tourist

KOTA KINABALU - An unnamed tourist owes his life to the missing crewman Absoy Kasim who gave up his life jacket when the catamaran carrying them to Pulau Menga­lum capsized on Jan 28.

The tourist, who received the life jacket from Absoy, has almost fully recovered and is preparing to return to China.

The details of the tragedy, which have just emerged, also reveal how several victims removed jackets from the dead and gave them to those who ended up surviving the ordeal.

Following interviews with the survivors, it is learnt that 39-year-old survivor Li Feng had taken his wife’s and 10-year-old daughter’s life jacket after they had died at sea, and gave them to others.

The body of his wife, Jian Yi Yang, 38, was recovered near Pulau Men­galum on Feb 3, while his daughter Yu Xuan Li’s body is still missing.

Sabah and Labuan Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) regional director First Admiral Zubil Mat Som said it is now confirmed that Absoy is still alive and he hopes the crewman will soon be found.

Absoy’s wife and family have been camping near the marine jetty here since the tragedy in the hope that he will turn up alive.

Speaking during the daily briefing at the MMEA office near here yesterday, Zubil said another survivor, Go Sun, had informed them that she took a life jacket from a man who had died and gave it to someone who was still alive at that time.

There is also a man from the list of missing people who was still alive then.

“So we know that on Jan 28, two (Absoy and an unknown man) of the remaining six missing people we were searching for were still alive, three died (Jian, Yu Xuan, and a man) and another is unaccounted for,” Zubil said.

With the recovery of Jian’s body, the number of missing persons is down to five. They include Shen Jiang Jian, Dong Mei, Luo Hong Yuan, Yu Xuan and Absoy.

Most of the survivors will be going back to China today.

Zubil said there were now 11 boats looking for the missing victims as the search covering 350sq nautical miles entered its 13th day.

On Jan 28, a catamaran carrying 28 Chinese tourists and three crew members sank while on its way to Pulau Mengalum.

The skipper and guide were rescued near Pulau Tiga, while 23 tourists were found in Semarang waters the following day. Three of them were dead. The body of another victim, Jian, was found on Saturday. - the Star

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