Tuaran boat crash: I carried drowning boy on my shoulder, recounts survivor

By OLIVIA MIWIL - 13 March 2016 @ 12:36 PM

TUARAN: A sixth victim from a two boat collision at Sungai Serusup here last night has been identified.

The latest victim has been identified as Wong Vun Chong, 47, who was one of the 30 people who had attended a wedding celebration at Kg Penimbawan, located about 30 minutes from the accident scene.

The other five deceased were Salumah Maid and Nurqaseh Salim from Papar, Aziah Maidin, Ainol Hahnam from Semporna and Nurul Hazoh Hussin from Sandakan.

Eight people have been admitted to the Tuaran hospital. Two others who were seriously injured are being hospitalised at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Kota Kinabalu.

Fourteen patients had been treated and discharged.

A survivor, Mak Jin, 42, said their boat was heading back to Kg Serusup when it collided with another boat going to the same wedding at Kg Penimbawan.

"It happened because both boats did not have lights and passengers were not provided with any life jackets.

"As the boat was sinking, a boy climbed on my shoulder and cried out to me to save him.

"I had to remove my trousers to stay afloat while waiting for help," he said when met at Tuaran hospital here, adding that the boy also survived.

The other boat was carrying 24 passengers including 21 employees from Jakel textile at Alamesra in Kota Kinabalu.

Jakel employee Dewi Ratna Sari Dirman, 25, said she survived the incident as she knew how to swim.

Fire and Rescue Dept team carrying out search efforts. Pix by Malai Rosmah Tuah