Malaysian authorities today said they have found a kayak they believed was used by two Singaporeans who have been missing at sea since last Thursday.
Retired lawyer Tan Eng Soon, 62, and businesswoman Puah Geok Tin, 57, disappeared at about 5:40pm last Thursday while kayaking with a group of 13 other Singaporeans in the waters around the Endau Islands, situated between the Mersing coastline of Johor state, and popular Tioman Island.
The pair had drifted away amid strong water currents, Puah’s son, Louis Pang, said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
The kayak was found at around noon yesterday by a fisherman near the Kuantan port in the state of Pahang, nearly 150km away, The New Paper reported.
Items found in the kayak included two wallets containing Singaporean currency, a mobile phone, a Singaporean passport belonging to Tan, a bag of clothes, and an identification card.
The fisherman had used the mobile phone to contact Tan’s family via their WhatsApp group chat and send them photos of the items, the report added.
Search and rescue efforts by Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Agency began last Friday.
By Monday, search parameters had been widened from 500 to 900 nautical miles, Malaysian media reported on Monday, citing the agency.
A total of 122 officers have been involved in search and rescue efforts since yesterday, up from 104 on Monday.
Last night, Pang commended the Malaysian team for their efforts in looking for his mother and Tan, whom he referred to as Mr. Matthew. In a Facebook post, he thanked the Malaysian team for working through the Hari Raya Haji public holiday.
“The Malaysian team here have really been putting in so much effort in the search, sacrificing their holiday, and working all day long for the Search & Rescue. Our families and friends are so grateful to them, we sincerely want to thank each and everyone’s effort in the search team,” the 23-year-old said.
Earlier on Sunday, Pang wrote an emotional post on Facebook, pleading for his mother’s return.
“Please come back to us safely, there are so many unsaid words and so many more things in my life I want to share with you. I am waiting, we are waiting. I love you.”
More news from the Little Red Dot at Coconuts.co/Singapore.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!