By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
LABUAN: The search for Mohd Shahrul Iskandar Imran who went missing while swimming with friends at Taman Damai beach near Kampung Layangan here last Sunday has been called off.
While the official search has been called off, police will continue with investigations and urged anyone, especially the fishing community, with information to immediately contact the nearest police station.
Assistant Commissioner Adzhar Othman, the Labuan police chief told reporters Saturday that it was a very difficult decision (to call off operation), but family members have accepted the fate of the 16-year-old SMK Mutiara student.
“It is very difficult for the family concerned. We wish we could have had a better outcome,” said Adzhar.
The Labuan Fire and Rescue Services Department, which had been coordinating the search and rescue operations, said to officially continue the search was a futile exercise.
Last Sunday, Mohd Shahrul who hails from Kampung Sungai Labu here was with four friends in the sea, when a big wave struck them. While the four others managed to get out of difficulties, Shahrul went missing in the 3pm incident.
A massive SAR operation comprising the Bomba, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Marine Department, corporate bodies of Labuan Liberty Port Management Sdn Bhd (LLPM), Asian Supply Base Sdn Bhd, villagers and fishermen was carried out.
The rescue team feared that the bad weather early Monday could have carried the body away from where the boy went missing.
The parents and family members of the missing student, joined by villagers, converged on the beach area and literally camped there 24 hours a day, reciting prayers that the boy would be found.
Family members are still hopeful that the body will eventually be found so that they can give Shahrul a proper burial.
Meanwhile, Adzhar also requested members of the public that should they come across the remains, not to take any photographs as per the request of the boy’s parents.