JOHOR BAHRU, Nov 21 — A fisherman was rescued after floating in the sea for nine hours after falling off his boat while fishing in the waters off Tanjung Sedili Kechil, near Kota Tinggi, yesterday.
Johor Maritime director First Admiral (Maritime) Nurul Hizam Zakaria said that the fisherman, identified as Abdul Aziz Abdullah, 57, was found clinging to float at 6 pm at about 5.1 nautical miles east of Tanjung Sedili Kechil.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) via the Johor Bahru Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) received a call at 4.50 pm regarding the discovery of unmanned boat by the maritime community at 3.1 nautical miles northeast of Tanjung Sedili Kechil.
“Acting on the report, the MMEA deployed a boat to the scene and found a fiberglass boat complete with fishing gear without anyone on board,” he said in a statement, today.
Nurul Hizam said the search and rescue operation was then mounted with the help of three fishing boats before they found Abdul Aziz.
He said that according to Abdul Aziz’s statement, he went to the sea to catch fish alone at 6.40 am, yesterday, and he fell off the boat after passing out while trying to lower the net at about 9 am.
The rough sea conditions made it difficult for Abdul Aziz to swim back to the boat, said Nurul Hizam.
Abdul Aziz was then taken to the Tanjung Sedili Health Clinic for further examination.
Nurul Hizam also thanked the maritime community for their help in the search operation.
“The maritime community, especially small boat owners, are also urged not to go out to sea alone and always take appropriate safety measures such as wearing safety jackets other than having a personal locator beacon (PLB).
“People, especially the maritime community facing emergency situations in East Johor waters should call the 24-hour hotline at the Tanjung Sedili Maritime zone operations centre at 07-891 6595 or the MERS 999 emergency line for immediate assistance,” he said.