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Monday January 20, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday January 20, 2014 MYT 9:00:18 AM
by royce tan, cavina lim, AND crystal chiam shiying
Inconsolable: Manjit Kaur (right) and her daughter running towards Ashwanpaljit’s body at Teluk Bahang. — Bernama
BALIK PULAU: A mother, who was anxiously waiting for news of her missing 23-year-old son, wailed and fainted when relatives told her to be strong – for her son was dead.
The body of 23-year-old Ashwanpaljit Singh Charnjit Singh was found some 24 hours after he disappeared into the waters off Pantai Kerachut in Teluk Bahang here.
He could not be found since Saturday after he was swept away by waves in a bid to save his drowning friend P. Yogambigai, 24, according to eyewitnesses.
The mother Manjit Kaur, 50, and other family members were informed about Ashwanpaljit’s death yesterday while they were at the Teluk Bahang jetty getting ready to catch a ferry which would take them to Pantai Kerachut, some 25 minutes away.
It was reported in Sunday Star that a team-building outing turned tragic when five of the participants were swept away by strong waves while swimming.
Balik Pulau OCPD Supt Mohd Hatta Mohd Zain said Ashwanpaljit’s body was found near where he was swept away, adding:
“We are still looking for Ku Muhammad Ilyas Muhammad Ku Abdul Halim, 19, who is feared drowned, while taking a swim with four others after a team-building event organised by Prai-based Oriental Advertising.”
Yogambigai’s body was found at 4.35pm on Saturday while two others – Norhayati Nasrul, 22, and Nurain Nabilah Mokhtar, 21, – were saved by other visitors at the site.
Penang deputy police chief Deputy Comm Datuk A. Thaiveegan said the two were in stable condition at the Penang Hospital.
Ku Muhammad Ilyas’ father Ku Abdul Halim Ku Taha, 53, who is keeping an anxious watch at Pantai Kerachut, said he last spoke to his son over the telephone at 3pm that day, an hour before the tragedy occurred.
“I told him to return home earlier because there would be an Al-Quran recital that night.
“He only started working with the company two weeks ago to make some extra money. He was awaiting his Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia results and had planned to further his studies at the Al-Azhar University in Egypt,” he said.
Nurain Nabilah’s father Mokhtar Othman, 63, when met at the hospital, said his daughter, who was in a coma, had only been with the company for a month, adding that he was told by a doctor that her condition has improved.
At the hospital, Norhayati said she was bruised all over her body and unable to remember what happened.
The search operation, which involved some 70 personnel, including the police, marine police, fire and rescue department and civil defence department will continue at 7.30am today.
The site of the tragedy in Pantai Kerachut was a restricted zone to swimmers due to strong winds and unpredictable waves.
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