Boat capsizes, but man and nephews find safety on nearby island

JOHOR BARU: A fishing trip by a man and his two teenage nephews almost turned into a tragedy after their boat capsized in Pengerang waters near Kota Tinggi. However, lady luck was smiling on Singaporean national Ong Gim Hong, 55, and his two Malaysian nephews Timutius Tan, 16, and Ogeven Ogen, 14. Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said they received a distress call at around 9.45pm on Thursday night (Sept 17) about three individuals who had gone missing during a fishing trip near Kota Tinggi. “One of the victims, Ogeven, from Telok Kabung in Pasir Gudang, went out with two relatives to fish at around 3pm, but his family could not contact him, so they lodged a police report. “We immediately activated a search-and-rescue operation at around 10.30pm in a search area of 20 nautical miles by using patrol boats from MMEA and marine police, respectively. “The operation was also aided by the local fishing community, ” he said in a statement here on Friday (Sept 18). Admiral Nurul Hizam said at around 9am on Friday morning its Maritime Rescue Sub Centre in Johor Baru received information from Kampung Teluk Kabung village chief saying all three victims had been found beached on Pulau Tekong. All were reported to be in good condition. The three victims said their boat sank after being hit by strong waves while they were casting their nets in Pengerang. “All three were brought to the Telok Kabong jetty and instructed to lodge a report at the nearest police station, ” he said adding that the operation ended at around 10.15am. Admiral Nurul Hizam also said MMEA would like to advise the public and maritime community to be vigilant while carrying out any activities in the sea by prioritising safety and weather patterns. He added that if there was an emergency in Johor waters, people should contact the Johor Maritime Operation Centre 24-hour hotline number at 07-2199404 or the MERS 999 emergency number.

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