'I'm sorry I couldn't save you, Abang'

KUALA TERENGGANU: A 44-year-old woman could only witness in anguish as her husband was swept out to sea at Pantai Batu Burok earlier, today.

Nora Elina Abdul Khalil, from Petaling Jaya, recounted the harrowing experience of seeing her husband, Zulkarnain Mohamed Zubir, 44, being engulfed by waves.

"Forgive me, my dear. I desperately swam, trying to reach you, five meters from the shore," she said, before describing the terrifying moment when she spotted Zulkarnain resurfacing several minutes after the waves had swept him away around 11.20am.

"We threw a lifebuoy towards him as he struggled to stay afloat, and I swam towards him hoping to pull him to safety.

"But as I approached, the strong current dragged us further out, forcing me to retreat to the shore."

Nora Elina, Zulkarnain Mohamed and their two young daughters, aged between 9 and 11, were on a family vacation in the state, having checked into a hotel in Batu Burok last Friday with plans to depart tomorrow.

She said that leading up to the tragedy, her husband had been frolicking in the waves while she and their daughters played on the soft sands of the shore.

"When it happened, a beachgoer tried to assist Zulkarnain but was unsuccessful, and the hotel management was immediately alerted."

Kuala Terengganu Fire and Rescue Department operations commander Yusnizan Yusof confirmed receiving the distress call from the hotel management around 11.30am, with efforts to locate and rescue Zulkarnain still ongoing.

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