2 Singaporean hikers missing for 3 days on Johor mountain rescued by boat

The two Singaporean hikers who went missing on a Johor mountain were successfully located and rescued by a Malaysian search and rescue team on Feb 8, 2018.
The two Singaporean hikers who went missing on a Johor mountain were successfully located and rescued by a Malaysian search and rescue team on Feb 8, 2018.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/POLIS JOHOR
The couple are safe and unhurt, according to an update by the Johor police on Feb 8, 2018.
The couple are safe and unhurt, according to an update by the Johor police on Feb 8, 2018. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/POLIS JOHOR
The pair, a man and a woman, both 27 years old, were spotted from a helicopter at about 11.20am on Feb 8, 2018.
The pair, a man and a woman, both 27 years old, were spotted from a helicopter at about 11.20am on Feb 8, 2018.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/POLIS JOHOR

The two Singaporean hikers who went missing on a Johor mountain on Monday evening (Feb 5) were rescued by boat on Thursday. 

Rescuers in a helicopter spotted them by a body of water at 11.30am. A boat was immediately deployed and they were successfully rescued five minutes later.

The Johor police said in a Facebook post that the pair were found "without any injuries at Teluk Teratai, the edge of the Pontian dam".

"The victims looked exhausted and slightly dehydrated with cuts and bruises on their bodies but they could still converse and interact normally," Kulai Fire Station chief Mohd Khairi Zainuddin, who is also head of the search operations, told The Straits Times.

Johor police posted photos of the pair - identified as Mr Dominick Tan Chang Xiang and Ms Lum Jie - on Facebook after the rescue.

Mr Tan and Ms Lum, both 27, were taken to Pontian Hospital. They later left the hospital in the afternoon with their families. 

In a Facebook post on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanked the Malaysian authorities and the Singaporean team on ground for their efforts in rescuing the duo.

"Relieved that the two Singaporeans who went missing while hiking in Gunung Pulai in Johor have been found!" he wrote. "Malaysian authorities devoted considerable manpower and resources to the search-and-rescue operations," he added.

Mr Tan and Ms Lum had gone to Gunung Pulai, in Johor's Kulai district, for a hike on Monday. Kulai is located about an hour north of Johor Baru by car.

Mr Tan is reportedly an experienced climber and had previously hiked up Gunung Pulai. The area is part of the Gunung Pulai Forest Reserve.

The authorities had beefed up their search team, which was almost 100-strong on Wednesday (Feb 7), up from 60 people on Tuesday. They comprise police officers, park rangers, members of the Fire and Rescue Department and volunteers.

They also expanded their search to a 36 sq km area, based on the duo's last reported location from a phone signal.

The two hikers had made their first emergency telephone call to the police at 5.55pm on Monday after losing their way on the 654m-high mountain.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in a Facebook post on Thursday that he is delighted to hear that the two Singaporeans have been found and are in stable condition. 

"We are very grateful to the Malaysian agencies, especially Johor Chief of Police Datuk Mohd Khalil, the Johor Police and Kulai Fire Department, who have worked tirelessly for almost four days on this operation," he said.

"My utmost gratitude also to the scores of volunteers from both Malaysia and Singapore who helped in the search."