On 8 Aug 2019, two Singaporean kayakers went missing during a kayaking trip in Malaysia.
62-year-old Tan Eng Soon and 57-year-old Puah Geok Tin, along with 13 other Singaporeans, went on a kayaking trip that started from Penyabong jetty to Mertang Island.
At some point during their trip, the pair drifted off from the rest of the kayakers. It is believed that they separated because of strong winds and wave turbulence.
A police report was lodged the next day and a search and rescue operation began.
Woman’s body found
Unfortunately, on Aug 14, a woman’s body was found floating 5 nautical miles east of Kuala Kemanan, later confirmed to be one of the kayakers, Puah Geok Tin.
Her death was confirmed by her son in a touching social media post.
The body of Mdm Puah Geok Tin, the female kayaker, will be sent back to her family on Friday.
Son urges authorities on
Now, the son of the other missing kayaker, Tan Eng Soon, is urging authorities to maintain the search effort for his father.
“We are very grateful for all the help and support by the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), by the Malaysia maritime police department. We hope that in the coming days, they can continue to maintain the search effort as my father is still missing,” he said.
He also called upon the local fishermen and natives out at sea to help out.
“We ask that they please keep a lookout for him as well because they have been instrumental in the search thus far,” he said.
Search and rescue operation
A day before Puah Geok Tin’s body was discovered, authorities found the kayak that belonged to the two Singaporeans.
They also found Mr Tan’s passport, two purses with Malaysian and Singapore currency, a mobile phone, a bag of clothes, an identity card and a paddle.
According to CNA, the Malaysian authorities have extended the search to Kerteh waters, scouring a sector of almost 500 nautical square miles.
Puah Geok Tin’s body was found 100 nautical miles (about 185.2km) from where the pair went missing, which shows just how far the duo drifted off.
According to Haris Fadzillah Abdullah, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Mersing zone chief maritime commander, the search area has been narrowed down based on the locations of where the kayak and Puah Geok Tin’s body were found.
It’s been more than a week since 62-year-old Tan Eng Soon went missing, but we remain hopeful that he will be found alive and that he will return home safely.
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