Six saved, one missing in boat capsize drama

GEORGE TOWN: A man in his 60s is missing after a boat ferrying him and six others capsized in strong waves off the coast here.

The Malaysian along with two other locals and four Indonesians are quarry workers who were heading back from Pulau Jerejak to Penang island.

One of the men in the boat Hamdan Osman, 35, said the first wave hit the boat and filled it with water.

“The second wave that came, turned over the boat. All of us were holding on to some floating objects from the boat.

“The elderly man was holding on to me and after a while he let go.

“I could not help him as he was too heavy. This is the first time I travelled on the boat. Previously I was working as a lorry driver,” he said.

The men are aged between 26 and mid-60s.

At press time yesterday, the search operation was still ongoing.

State Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson Azman Husin said when they reached the scene, one of the men had swum to the shore while six others were still struggling in the sea some 300m from the shore.

“They were then saved by a passing fishing boat and brought ashore,” he said.