KOTA KINABALU: A man in his 20s drowned while his father is still missing during a fishing trip at the Kuala Penyu district on Sunday (Aug 25).
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sabah and Labuan operation centre said they received a report in the morning about the missing victim jumping into the sea to save his son, who was overthrown from the boat when it was hit by strong waves.
"The incident happened around 8.30am at 15 nautical miles northeast of Labuan.
"Victim Jahar Asri, in his 40s, initially went out fishing with his son, Izam Jahar, and a friend Rosman Imang, 40.
"Jahar, a local from Kampung Kekapur, Kuala Penyu was said to jump off the vessel just in his underwear and without a safety jacket, while holding a water gallon," the operation centre said in a statement.
According to the report, Rosman then tried to locate both victims but only found Izam floating on the sea surface, and brought him to land where he was declared dead.
"The search and rescue operation for Jahar was mounted around 10.30am.
"The operation centre has alerted Labuan police, Kuala Penyu Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force, and Sabah Parks authorities in Pulau Tiga to assist in the search operations," it added.
Meanwhile, the state Fire and Rescue Department operation centre said the Kuala Penyu Fire and Rescue team had rushed to the scene to conduct "surface rescue" along the beach waters.
"The operation stopped at 5.27pm and will continue tomorrow (Aug 26)," it said in a statement, adding that information will be updated from time to time.