SINGAPORE: The kayak belonging to the two Singaporeans who went missing off Mersing in Johor five days ago has been found, said the Johor maritime agency on Tuesday (Aug 13).
Mr Tan Eng Soon, 62, and Ms Puah Geok Tin, 57, drifted off from a group of 13 other Singaporeans while kayaking near the Endau islands on Thursday.
The pair were believed to have been separated from the group due to rough seas and strong winds.
Their kayak was found at about 12.30pm on Tuesday by local fishermen about 0.6 nautical miles southeast of Tanjung Gelang in Kuantan, said the Johor maritime agency.
This was about 80 nautical miles from where Mr Tan and Ms Puah were reported missing.
In addition to the kayak, other items found included Mr Tan's passport, two purses with Malaysian and Singapore currency, a mobile phone, a bag of clothes, an identity card and a paddle, the agency said.
In an Instagram update on Tuesday, Ms Puah's son said that the fisherman who found the kayak used the mobile phone, which belong to Mr Tan, to send a text message to his family members.
"We informed the local authorities straight," Mr Pang said in his post.
"They are currently linking up with the fisherman at Kuantan. No one was in the boat, only belongings," Mr Pang said, adding that Malaysia's maritime police are also seeking information from the fisherman.
READ: More aircraft, rescuers deployed in search for Singaporean kayakers missing off Mersing, Johor
The search and rescue operation entered its fifth day on Tuesday, with 122 people from various agencies deployed.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Mersing zone director Haris Fadzillah Abdullah said three MMEA assets and another belonging to the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) were being used in the operation.
"In addition, nine marine assets consisting a Royal Malaysian Navy vessel, an MMEA ship and three boats, two PDRM boats and two Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department have also been deployed in the operation," he said in a statement on Tuesday.
He added the air search area remained at 900 nautical miles encompassing the east and north of Pulau Tioman in Pahang, while the sea search covers 600 nautical miles from the east of Rompin to the north of Tioman Island.
Fishermen and residents in the nearby islands are also helping in the sea search operation, Mr Haris Fadzillah said.