KUALA TERENGGANU: Three fishermen who were rescued after being adrift at sea in their faulty boat for 11 days say they will return to fish after they recover from their ordeal.
“The sea is our life. This experience will not deter us from going out to sea again,” said boat skipper Che Mohd Radzi Ce Wan De, 48.
Che Mohd Radzi and his two friends Wan Kamarudin Wan Ali, 52, and Ahmad Che Ngah, 39, were found near Vietnamese waters by local fishermen late Wednesday.
Their boat, which had experience engine trouble, was towed back and arrived at the Seberang Takir Jetty in Kuala Terengganu at 4.30pm yesterday.
A search operation, including the use of a Cessna Caravan CE208 from the Police Air Wing, was mounted for the trio after one of their wives lodged a missing persons report on May 27.
The search took this long because they could not be contacted via radio or their cellphones.
Narrating their experience, Che Mohd Radzi said it was a life and death situation for them.
He said they left their fate in the hands of Allah and prayed that other fishing boats would pass by them. “Our prayers were answered when a Malaysian trawler came by and saved us,” he said.
He said they experienced engine trouble on May 27 about 22 nautical miles from Pulau Tenggol, Dungun.
“When we could not fix the engine and the boat started to drift, we began to panic and wondered how we would get back home. Some boats passed us by without stopping even though we tried to get their attention.
“We even thought about swimming to safety using our life vests and lifebuoys but felt that it was too risky,” he said.
“Fortunately, the trawler found us and towed us back to Seberang Takir,” he added.
Che Wan Mohd Radzi said they survived by carefully rationing their food, which under normal circumstances would have lasted five days. — Bernama