January 27, 2023
KOTA KINABALU – A fisherman literally hung on to dear life by clinging on to a jerrycan for over 30 hours after his boat capsized in waters near a resort off Karambunai near here.
A navy ship found Morris Dulin in extreme exhaustion but still clutching onto the jerrycan at 1.45pm on Thursday (Jan 26).
The 69-year-old was found drifting in waters off Sepanggar, some 5.5 nautical miles from where the boat that carried him and his two other friends, who managed to save themselves, had sunk the day before.
Kota Kinabalu OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Zaidi Abdullah said Morris was rescued by the navy ship KD Sundang.
“The man was then brought back to the navy base in Sepanggar for identification purposes and treatment,” he said when contacted.
Morris had gone out to sea with his two friends aged 41 and 42 and were fishing near the Nexus Karambunai Resort on Wednesday morning (Jan 25).
They decided to return to land when the weather suddenly turned for the worse but on their way back, their boat overturned after being hit by strong waves.
The two friends, said to be wearing life jackets, managed to swim to safety to a lagoon at Karambunai while Morris was nowhere to be seen. The friends later alerted the authorities about the incident.
A search party involving multiple agencies including the police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Fire and Rescue Department and Civil Defence Force, was subsequently launched following the 6am incident.
However, efforts were made difficult due to the choppy seas and bad weather.
Sabah and Labuan MMEA director First Admiral Datuk Mohd Rosli Abdullah said the victim was earlier spotted by the navy’s unmanned aerial vehicle before being rescued.
He said the search area was divided into four sectors that covered a total 81 nautical miles.
“The MMEA would like to advise the maritime community to keep abreast with the current weather conditions,” he said, urging the people to ensure they wore life jackets and brought communication equipment if they had to go out to sea.
In an unrelated incident, five houses were damaged in a landslide in the northern Kudat district on Thursday (Jan 26).
A Fire and Rescue Department spokesman said no one was reported to be hurt in the incident at Kampung Panudahan in the Matunggong sub-district.
He said, however, the occupants were told to move out due to safety concerns.