More planes, boats join in search for 2 Singaporean kayakers

A helicopter on the lookout for the two Singaporean kayakers reported missing in Endau waters off Mersing. (Bernama pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: Three more aircraft from different rescue agencies were deployed today, bringing the total to four, in the search and rescue (SAR) operation for two Singaporeans reported missing while kayaking in Endau waters near Mersing on Thursday.

Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director Aminuddin Abdul Rashid said two of the assets are from the MMEA, and one each from the Fire and Rescue Department and the police.

“The search area has been expanded to 900 sq nautical miles encompassing the east and north of Pulau Tioman, Pahang,” he said in a statement.

Six marine vessels – four from MMEA, a navy ship and a police boat – are also taking part in the SAR operation. The sea search covers about 350 sq nautical miles east of Rompin to the north of Tioman.

Aminuddin said the number of personnel taking part in the operation has increased to 104 from 50 yesterday.

Tan Eng Soon, 62, and Puah Geok Tin, 57, were reported missing at about 5.40pm on Thursday after their kayak was separated from a group of 13 friends at an area between Pulau Sri Buat in Pahang and Pulau Mertang in Mersing because of rough seas and strong winds.