MERSING: Malaysian authorities have called off the search and rescue operation for missing Singaporean kayaker Tan Eng Soon, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said in a press release on Monday (Aug 19).
The search operation was stopped at about 9pm on Sunday, the agency added. Mr Tan had gone missing along with fellow Singaporean Puah Geok Tin while kayaking off the coast of Mersing on Aug 8.
"The search and rescue operation was halted as no more new clues were found following the discovery of the female victim on Aug 14. However, the search operation will be started again if there are new (leads)," said Johor Maritime chief Aminuddin Haji Abdul Rashid.
The body of Ms Puah was found last week in the waters off Kemaman, Terengganu. The two were separated from their group while kayaking near the Endau islands.
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The maritime chief added that the search operation, which recovered a kayak and other personal items that belonged to both victims, involved a total of 155 people, five "aviation assets" and 11 "maritime assets".
The operation also cost a total of RM431,380 (S$143,130).
Local fishermen and members of the public joined the search and rescue operation, which involved the Royal Malaysia Police, Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, Royal Malaysia Navy and the Malaysia Civil Defence Force.
Aminuddin urged the maritime community and members of the public to always prioritise safety when out at sea, such as checking the weather forecast and following the relevant rules.