SINGAPORE: Singapore authorities are working with their Malaysian counterparts to locate two Singaporean kayakers who went missing off Mersing in Johor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Saturday (Aug 10).
The Star reported on Friday that Mr Tan Eng Soon, 62, and Ms Puah Geok Tin, 57, drifted off from a group of 13 other Singaporeans while they were kayaking around the Endau islands at about 5.40pm on Thursday.
They are believed to have separated from the group due to turbulent sea and strong winds, Mersing police acting chief ASP Mohd Nor Mohd Isa was cited as saying in Bernama.
Mr Mohd Nor said efforts to locate Mr Tan and Ms Puah by their friends failed and they subsequently lodged a police report at Rompin police station, Pahang at 10.30am on Friday.
A search and rescue team involving was activated at Penyabong jetty in Mersing at about 3.30pm on Friday.
"The victims were believed to have gone missing after the group were on their way to Mertang Island from Teluk Kesang,” The Star cited Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director Aminuddin Abdul Rashid as saying.
In an update on Saturday, the MMEA said the authorities have deployed a helicopter and six boats to look for the missing kayakers.
The sea search covers 150 nautical miles from Tanjung Resang to Kuala Rompin, while the aerial search covers 400 nautical miles north of Pulau Seri Buat to northwest of Pulau Tioman.
MFA said the Singapore Consulate-General in Johor Bahru has been in close contact with the Malaysian authorities who are coordinating the ongoing search operations.
“A team from our Consulate-General is currently on the ground to provide assistance and close support,” said MFA.
It added: “MFA and the Consulate-General will continue to render consular assistance to the next-of-kin of the missing Singaporeans and support the ongoing search operations.”