Report lodged against man who derided SUV recovery effort


GEORGE TOWN: A police report has been lodged in Langkawi against a Facebook user named Chuah for deriding the recovery operation of the sports utility vehicle (SUV) that plunged into the sea from the Penang Bridge.

The man mistakenly assumed that the operation was being carried out only by the Fire and Rescue Department and posted a comment on Facebook about "our bomba rescue squad".

He used the word "suck" and said "...so near also fail to locate out, all tido (sleep) and makan (eat) saje."

Following his outburst, Chuah has been getting flak on social media. It isn't clear whether the report will amount to anything at all.

The search-and-recovery operation is being done by multiple agencies including the police, Marine Department and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Meanwhile, a sea captain who declined to be named said rescuers must be fighting against a tide current of 2.5 knots as they tried to recover the car and body.

"The Thaipusam full moon created a huge tidal difference of 0.5m at the lowest tide and 2.2m at the highest when the accident happened. This created a strong tidal flow, and the flow through the narrow Penang channel is more intense," said the captain, who is familiar with Penang waters.

He added that the seabed around Penang Bridge was a thick layer of soft mud and he expected the car had sunk deeply into the mud, making it more difficult to pull out.

This morning (Jan 22), Marine Police Region 1 commander Asst Comm Rosman Ismail said divers had been deployed since 9am and were relieved to find that the current was not as strong as the previous day.

ACP Rosman said the rising tide was expected to be at its highest around Penang Bridge by 1.30pm, and the current would stop for some time before low tide kicked in.

"The main challenge will be to secure the SUV at its strongest point and hoist it up safely," he said.

Today marks the third day of the recovery operation involving 147 personnel.

Attempts to raise the car out of the water yesterday were unsuccessful.

On Sunday (Jan 20) at about 3am, the driver of the SUV, identified as college student Moey Yun Peng, 20, was crossing the bridge to Butterworth from Penang island when a black sedan slammed into his rear left flank at high speed, causing his car to spin and flip over the bridge's parapet.

Police have determined that Moey and the driver of the black sedan were friends who earlier attended another friend's birthday party at a club in Chulia Street.

Related stories:

Penang Bridge crash: Wreckage of SUV found

Penang CM: Specifications, standards for bridge guardrails need to be reviewed

Penang Bridge crash: Operation to retrieve SUV postponed, body spotted in vehicle (updated)

Vehicle plunges off Penang Bridge: Fifth incident since 2010

Penang bridge tragedy raises many questions

Wreckage found with body inside