MERSING: Authorities have added more aircraft in the search for two Singaporeans who went missing while kayaking in Endau waters here last Thursday (Aug 8).
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Mersing zone director Commander Haris Fadzillah Abdullah said four more aircraft from various agencies had been mobilised as part of the search-and-rescue operation.
“We now have five air assets to help us search and locate the missing Singaporeans, ” he said on Monday (Aug 12).
He added that MMEA had deployed two helicopters, the Fire and Rescue Department had one helicopter, and the police were using their helicopter and a Beechcraft airplae in the operation.
Commander Haris also said the air search had been widened to 900 nautical miles from the east and northern waters of Pulau Tioman in Pahang.
“Besides the assets in the air, we are also being helped with seven water assets from the navy, MEA and marine police.
“The focus area involves 600 nautical miles from east of Rompin to the north of Pulau Tioman, ” he added.
He said the operation also involves 104 rescue personnel members from various agencies.
“We have yet to find any new clues but are hopeful we able to locate the two missing persons.
“We will increase our effort by widening the search area and increase our water and air assets, ” he added.
Commander Haris also said erratic weather due to the monsoon winds were making things difficult for the search-and-rescue team.
The victims, identified as Tan Eng Soon, 52, and Puah Geok Tin, 64, are believed to have drifted from a group of 13 other Singaporeans who were kayaking with them around the Endau islands at about 5.40pm on Aug 8.
They are believed to have gone missing as the group made their way to Mertang island from Teluk Kesang.
A search-and-rescue team was activated at Penyabong jetty at about 3.30pm Friday (Aug 9).