KOTA BARU (Bernama): Five anglers who went on a squid jigging trip had a terrifying experience when their boat sank in the waters off Pantai Cahaya Bulan near here Friday (May 21).
However, all of them were found safe after drifting at sea for more than five hours, thanks to their life jackets.
Skipper Yuzree Mahmud, 50, said he and three of his friends were rescued by a fishing boat that was passing through the area.
"As soon as I saw the boat, I swam to it while blowing the whistle attached to the life jacket I was wearing to get help. Alhamdulillah, I was saved by the fishermen on the boat and we returned to the scene to rescue three of my friends there.
"We were then brought to the Pengkalan Kubor Customs Jetty, while another friend who drifted away from us was finally saved at 2.30am today by another boat before being brought to the Kuala Besar jetty,” he told reporters at his house in Kampung Lipat Sanggol Banggol here Saturday (May 22).
Recalling the harrowing moment, Yuzree said that they went out to sea at 3.30pm yesterday.
"Almost 30 minutes after leaving the Tok Dokang Jetty, Banggol, I spotted two waterspouts as high as 30 feet, about 200m away from our boat.
"I immediately steered the boat in another direction, but could only make it less than 2km away due to the strong winds.
"In the blink of an eye, I saw the boat was nearly filled with water and ordered my friends to jump into the sea, as we held on to fish barrels to keep us afloat. The situation would have been worse if we had stayed on the sinking boat,” he said, adding that the waterspouts continued for over an hour.
Yuzree said he could only pray to Allah that someone would spot and rescue them.
"Alhamdulillah, we are all safe and only sustained minor injuries, nothing serious just bruises and aches for being too long in the water.
Meanwhile, Kota haru district police chief ACP Abdul Rahim Daud confirmed receiving a report about the incident.
He said in addition to Yuzree, the other victims are Che Muhamad Sabri Che Noh, 55, Norman Hishah Abd Rashid, 42, Muhamad Suhalim Ibrahim, 46, and Mohamad Azml Mustafa, 35.
"Four victims were rescued by nearby fishermen around 13 nautical miles or 24km from Kompleks Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia in Kuala Besar Badang, at 9.3 pm yesterday, while another one was found not far from where his friends were saved,” he said. - Bernama