SANDAKAN: A General Operations Force (GOF) personnel has been reported missing following a collision between a passenger boat and another boat in the waters off Sandakan Central Market here this morning.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) spokesman Sandakan Zone Lieutenant Commander Mohd Hafidz Mohd Tajuddin said in the 6 am incident the victim, Asman Ongkal, 40, who was also in the passenger boat with his family, disappeared while trying to rescue passengers from the ill-fated boat.
The boat was from Pulau Tanjung Aru about 2.3 nautical miles from here, and while nearing the mainland capsized.
“The incident occurred when a boat carrying 37 people including the skipper from Pulau Tanjung Aru collided with a boat that was towing a smaller boat.
“Fifteen people have been sent to the Duchess of Kent Hospital, of which three including the 30-year-old skipper are in critical condition,” he told reporters when met at the market jetty.
Mohd Hafidz said a search and rescue operation covering an area of two nautical miles was being carried out by other agencies such as the Royal Malaysia Police, the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, and the Civil Defence Force.