Shipyard worker reported missing, feared drowned

SIBU: A shipyard worker from Indonesia is feared to have drowned after he slipped and fell into the Rajang River along Jalan Ulu Lanang on Wednesday (May 15)

Sibu OCPD, Asst Comm Stanley Jonathan Ringgit said the victim, Agus Toni, 32, from Biltar, Jawa Timur, Indonesia was last seen by his colleagues in a vessel at 3pm on that day.

"We received a distress call from a colleague of his after they failed to locate him when the vessel berthed at the jetty," he said.

ACP Stanley added that a search-and-rescue operation (SAR) was immediately launched to look for the victim. The SAR team comprised of marine police, Bomba and Civil Defence Force.

"The search is still on as we have yet to locate the victim," he added,

He said based on initial investigation, police did not suspect foul play was involved in the case.

"We have classified the case as missing person," he added.

Meanwhile, the number of fatalities in the nation's shipbuilding industry continues to rise.

State Department of Safety and Health (DOSH), vice director for Occupational Health, Saiful Azhar Mohd Said had, on April 17 during the launch of a seminar on Generic Hierachy for Shipbuilding Sector under Compliance program support, said nine deaths had been reported nationwide.

Of the nine fatalities, four were in Sibu. Three of the four died in a confined space (within working area) and the other fell from height. 

All four were foreigners.

Saiful said the matter was a cause for concern and concrete actions needed to be taken to prevent more fatal accidents from happening in the industry.