KOTA KINABALU: Fellow divers and students of divemaster Ab Zainal Abdu, who was killed from suspected fish-bombing activities off Semporna waters, have described him as a fun-loving but hardworking and professional individual.Amid the condolences pouring in via his Facebook page, the 30-year-old was hailed as the first Bajau to become an open water scuba instructor with Professional Association of Diving Instructors (Padi).
Users were also outraged that his life was taken away due to an illegal activity that has been haunting Sabah’s east coast waters for decades despite enforcement.
“Rest in peace dear brother you are the best instructor ever that I’ve known,” John Fernandez Cuevas posted.
“Who said anak Bajau only know how to become fishermen.
“Your successful running of a small Dive Centre in Semporna made your dreams come true and kept moving forward.
“I had hoped to meet up again when I am back to Tawau ... but you are gone,” said Yohanes Yosep.
Fellow diver Nurul Yazid, who said she introduced Ab Zainal to the dive site in Kalapuan Island where he was killed on Friday along with two China nationals, was upset that fish-bombing activities continued to occur.
“Enough is enough. They may have ignored our pleas for the last couple of years but please let’s not wait for another accident to happen before they decide to finally take action.
“May you rest in peace Zainal – You will forever be the first Bajau to become a Padi Open Water Scuba Instructor,” she added.
Fellow divemaster based in Thailand, Thien X. Do, said it was heartbreaking as the tragedy could have been avoided.
“This hardworking young man earned his way to near the top of diving from less than zero.
“I remember meeting him (for the first time) a decade ago. He had an abundance of positive energy, always willing to try and eagerly help anyone in need.
“Please help find a way to ensure his death is not forgotten. The destructive fishing practices must be stopped!” said Thien in his posting.