Day 4 Tourist Boat Tragedy: Hopes Fading But SAR Area Widened

Ramli Din replying to questions posed to him by media personnel covering the tourist boat tragedy which has killed three people so far. Five more are still missing.
Ramli Din replying to questions posed to him by media personnel covering the tourist boat tragedy which has killed three people so far. Five more are still missing.

By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU – Hopes of rescuing five people still missing after their boat capsized in stormy seas midway to Pulau Mengalum on Saturday are fading but the agencies involved in the search and rescue are not giving up just yet.

In fact the search area for Tuesday has been expanded to cover 3,000 square nautical miles near Pulau Mengalum and down to even Brunei waters.

Kota Kinabalu Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director Adam Aziz said a multi-agency operation involving some 20 sea and air vessels have been deployed to find the remaining four Chinese tourists and one local boat man.

Two of the assets are from Brunei.

“Aircrafts involved in the operation have been (scouring) the area since 6am today (Tuesday),” said Azmin in a statement.

The five people were among 30 passengers from China, and crewmen on board the ill-fated catamaran, which capsized on Saturday.

Meanwhile Sabah police chief Datuk Ramli Din who visited some of the survivors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Tuesday mid-morning said they were recovering though some were still in trauma.

“Our main concern now is to find the missing five, though as of now there is no new information,” he told media personnel waiting for him outside the hospital.

Ramli said the police have in place one liaison officer for each survivor to help him or her receive the best care and attention possible.

He also said that investigations into the incident are still ongoing and police will reveal all once it is complete.

“We will then get all the relevant agencies together to see what further action needs to be taken,” he added.