KOTA KINABALU: The search for a 19-year-old cook who went missing while swimming at Tanjung Aru beach intensified but strong waves hindered search and rescue efforts.
Three boats from the police and the Fire and Rescue Department were deployed to search for Paul Thien Fook Loong who disappeared in a strong wave while swimming with friends at 4pm on Sunday.
We have divers searching for Thien, said a firemen involved in the search as friends and family members anxiously waited by the beach.
Thiens distraught parents were advised to return home and wait for the outcome of the search.
Thien, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Sunday, had gone to swim at the beach.
During that time, strong waves triggered by tropical storm Vincente pounded the coastal areas here, causing at least 10 houses to be damaged and 100 people to be homeless since Saturday.
According to friend Lee King Tek, also 19, the sea was calm when they entered the water.
However, a high wave suddenly hit them and Thien disappeared.
Picnickers swimming close by rescued Lee.
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