SANDAKAN: Malaysian navy personnel Norli Azan Atan, who was found safe on a Philippines island after having fallen into the sea while on duty as a night watchman on board KD Sri Melaka, attributes his 32-hour survival in rough waters to his training and a life jacket.
“I thank God for keeping me safe and returning me home safely.
“I think the training given to me and the life jacket kept me alive,” said 20-year-old Norli when he returned to the naval base here on Tuesday.
Norli fell into the sea near Pulau Tambisan area at about 9.30pm on Friday.
A group of Filipino fishermen near Pulau Sibutu rescued Norli at about 4am on Sunday.
He was handed over to Philippines authorities in Sibutu, before the Royal Malaysian Navy’s KD Sri Sabah under the command of Lt Farizan Hussin picked him up on Tuesday.
Looking tired, Norli spoke briefly to reporters before he was taken on a military ambulance to the Duchess of Kent Hospital for medical observation.
Norli from Kluang, Johor, was unhurt despite his two nights and a day ordeal in the choppy waters.
The navy’s Sandakan commanding officer, Kapt Nasaruddin Othman, thanked the Philippines authorities for helping to get Norli back home safely.
He also thanked those who helped during the search and rescue operation of Norli, who has been serving in Sabah for about a year after completing his training.