Sabah fisherman rescued after clinging on to jerrycan for 30 hours in the sea

Mr Morris Dulin was found clinging on to a jerrycan for over 30 hours after his boat capsized. PHOTOS: ROYAL MALAYSIAN NAVY/FACEBOOK

KOTA KINABALU - A fisherman from Malaysia’s Sabah region literally hung on for dear life by clinging on to a jerrycan for over 30 hours after his boat capsized in waters near a resort off Karambunai near the Sabah capital.

A navy ship found Mr Morris Dulin in extreme exhaustion but still clutching the jerrycan at 1.45pm on Thursday.

The 69-year-old was found drifting in waters off Sepanggar, some 5.5 nautical miles from where the boat that carried him and his two other friends – who managed to save themselves – had sunk the day before.

The Kota Kinabalu district police chief, Assistant Commissioner Mohd Zaidi Abdullah, said Mr Morris was rescued by the navy ship KD Sundang.

“The man was then brought back to the navy base in Sepanggar for identification purposes and treatment,” he said when contacted.

Mr Morris had gone out to sea with his two friends, aged 41 and 42, and they were fishing near the Nexus Karambunai Resort on Wednesday morning.

They decided to return to land when the weather suddenly took a turn for the worse, but on their way back, their boat overturned after being hit by strong waves.

The two friends, said to be wearing life jackets, managed to swim to safety at a lagoon in Karambunai, while Mr Morris was nowhere to be seen.

The friends alerted the authorities about the incident.

A search party involving multiple agencies, including the police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Fire and Rescue Department and Civil Defence Force, was subsequently launched following the 6am incident.

However, efforts were made more difficult by the choppy seas and bad weather.

Sabah and Labuan MMEA director Mohd Rosli Abdullah said the victim was earlier spotted by the navy’s unmanned aerial vehicle before being rescued.

“The MMEA would like to advise the maritime community to keep abreast of the current weather conditions,” he said, urging the people to ensure they wear life jackets and bring along communication equipment if they have to go out to sea. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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