Fisherman missing for 14 hours found clinging to plastic barrel

MERSING: A fisherman was found safe, clinging to a blue plastic oil drum, about 14 hours after being reported missing at sea.

Mersing Maritime Zone director Maritime Commander Khairul Nizam Misran said the victim, an Indonesian known as Catur, was found by fishing boat PL 87 which participated in “Ops Carilamat”.

He was found about 10 nautical miles south of Sibu Island here around 10.30am Monday (Oct 3).

Khairul said Catur, 40, who was last seen on a fishing boat in only green pants, was believed to have fallen and drifted 9.3 nautical miles from the location where he was reported missing at about 8pm yesterday.

“The victim was then taken to the Tanjung Sedili Maritime Zone jetty in Kota Tinggi for treatment and action,” he said in a statement.

Earlier, the Mersing Maritime Zone received a report from a fishing boat owner, Kuek Ho Hwa, 66, on the incident before “Ops Carilamat” was mounted at about 11.50pm yesterday.

The search and rescue operation involved the Kilat 14 boat from the Mersing Maritime Zone, RH 32 boat of the Marine Police, and PTL 21 and PL 87 boats of the Fisheries Department, involving 30 members, with the search area of 86 sq nautical miles covering the waters southeast of Sibu Island.

The public are reminded to channel any information on incidents and emergencies at sea through the Johor Maritime operations centre’s MERS 999 emergency line at 07-219 9401. – Bernama