DUNGUN: Search teams have recovered the bodies of all four students of Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Polytechnic (PSMZA), who went missing after they were swept away by waves while swimming at Pantai Teluk Bidara here last Friday.
Terengganu Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) deputy director Sharikan Bustaman said a team found the last body, that of Mohamad Amir Izzudin Zulkiflee, at 3pm today, about two nautical miles off Pantai Teluk Bidara.
The victim from Air Keroh, Melaka, was a silat exponent, who had represented the state.
Another victim, Muhammad Ikhwan Ahmad Azhan, from Kuala Terengganu, was found at 11.35am by a group of fishermen at Teluk Lipat about 8km from where the four were last seen.
Some 30 minutes later, a rescue team spotted another body, that of Muhamad Luqman Al Rashid Mohamed, from Kuantan, floating about a kilometre away from where Ikhwan’s body was found.
Earlier today, Terengganu JBPM Zone 2 chief Azman Alias said members of the public stumbled upon the body of Muhammad Zul Fahmi Zuki, of Kemaman, on the beach near Mayang Sari Resort, here at 7.30am.
In the 6.30pm incident on Friday, the four, all aged 21, were said to be bathing at a rocky area when they slipped and were swept away by the strong waves.
Sharikan said all four bodies have been sent to the Dungun Hospital forensic unit for further action.
More lifeguards to be posted on Terengganu beaches
The Terengganu Civil Defence will station more lifeguard teams at the beaches in the state, its director, Lt Col Che Adam A Rahman, said today.
He said lifeguards were currently only stationed at Pantai Bukit Kluang, Besut; Taman Laut Pulau Redang; Pantai Batu Buruk in Kuala Terengganu and Pantai Kekabu and Pantai Pulau Kekabu, Marang.
Six college students have drowned at Terengganu beaches in the past week.
The bodies of four students of Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Polytechnic in Dungun were recovered today at Pantai Teluk Bidara, Dungun, and a week earlier, two students of Universiti Teknologi Mara in Chendering drowned in Pantai Pandak.
No lifeguards were posted at either location. Che Adam said the lifeguards would not be on duty during the northeast monsoon season, from October to March, as the beaches are closed for recreational activities.
“Only periodical monitoring is conducted by lifeguards during the monsoon period,” he said.
An oceanographer at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Dr Mohd Fadzil Mohd Akhir, said a study conducted by UMT had found that rip currents, an intermittent strong surface current flowing seaward from the shore, often happened at several locations between Pantai Pandak in Chendering, as well as Teluk Bidara and Teluk Lipat in Dungun.
Besides the rip current, other factors that pose a danger to visitors are the steep beach slopes, he added.
Terengganu has the longest stretch of beaches in the country, spanning a total of 244km.