Wednesday, October 17, 2007

MORE PICS – Tioman Ferry Fire Body Found ; Identified -Wong Soong Leng, 37; By Police Air Wing floating - 2 nautical miles east Pulau Tokong Bahara

UPDATE: Oct 19 07; 11:30PM

October 19, 2007 20:44 PM
Last Missing Victim In Ferry Tragedy Found
MERSING, Oct 19 (Bernama) -- The body of the last of the three missing passengers of last Saturday's ferry tragedy was found Friday. The body of Choong Yoong Kim, 43, from Petaling Jaya, was identified by family members at the Forensic Unit of the
Mersing District Hospital here. Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations Coordinator Maritime Captain Tan Kok Kwe said a police air unit Cessna spotted the body floating at 12.05pm about 10 nautical miles south of Pulau Tioman and alerted the Marine Police which then sent a patrol boat to retrieve the body. He said the decomposed body, clad in brown shorts, arrived at the Mersing jetty about 5pm and later taken to the Mersing District Hospital for a post-mortem. The jetty was packed with onlookers as well as relatives and family members of the ferry victims, including Choong's wife, Wong Soo Ching,

40, who broke down as soon as she saw her husband's body being taken to the police vehicle. Following the Saturday mishap, a SAR team, comprising 140 members from the various agencies, including the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM), the police Air Unit, Marine Department, Fire and Rescue Department, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and the Civil Defence

Department (JPA3), was formed to look for the seven???(only 3) victims missing from the ferry. The ill-fated ferry was carrying 106 people, including the skipper and two crew members, and was on its way to Pulau Tioman when it caught fire and sank about 12.30pm. The incident claimed seven lives, including Choong, and injured four others

ABOVE: The family of missing victim Choong Yoong Kim praying for his safey at Mersing jetty before body was found

= == = == = == = == = = =2nd Body Ferry Tragedy Found
UPDATE: 18th Oct 2007; 8.5 pm October 18, 2007 15:40 PM

Death Toll From Seagull Express Tragedy Rises To Six

MERSING, Oct 18 (Bernama) -- The death toll from the Seagull Express 2 ferry tragedy rose to six today with the recovery of another body at 11.15am. The victim was identified as Wong Hann Wen, 29, by a family member at the Mersing Hospital's forensic room about 2pm based on the dress worn.
Search and Rescue (SAR) operation coordinator Maritime Captain Tan Kok Kwee said the body was found by a team led by Maritime Leading Rate Ridzuan Che Leh from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA)
some 6.6 nautical miles south of Pulau Jahat. "It was clad in a grey shirt and rotting blue jeans. What is left of the head is the skull," he told reporters as the body arrived at Mersing jetty at 12.45pm.The body was found 7.5 nautical miles from that of Wong Soong Leng, 37,who was found floating two nautical miles east of Pulau Tokong Baharayesterday, 10 nautical miles from where the ferry caught fire and sank on Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Tan said the SAR team will continue to search for the last missing person, Choong Yoong Kim, 43

ABOVE: 2nd Body found near Pulau Jahit at about 11.15 am this morning (18th Oct 07) and BELOW: the maritime vessel is taking the body to Mersing Hospital.

= == = == = ==STAR account; By BEH YUEN HUI
Mersing ferry tragedy -- Oct 18th update

MERSING: It was a heart-wrenching scene when the search-and-rescue team brought Wong Han Wen's body back here, with all the flesh from his head gone. Only the skull was left attached to the rest of the body which was still intact.

ABOVE: Wong Yuh Ling (left) breaking down upon hearing that the body of her brother Wong Han Wen, a victim of the Mersing ferry tragedy, had been recovered. She had to be carried away by her uncle and a volunteer from the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. Another sister Wong Yuh Jen also had to be helped away.

His family had to identify him from the grey shirt and blue jeans he had worn. Han Wen’s body was spotted floating at 11.15am about seven kilometres from Pulau Jahat by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency yesterday. The location was nine nautical miles from where the ferry tragedy took place last Saturday. He was the second of three people listed as missing from the Seagull Express 2 which caught fire while en route to Pulau Tioman. On Wednesday, the body of Wong Song Leng, 37, was retrieved from the sea about two nautical miles from Pulau Tokong Bahara. This brings the official death count from the ferry tragedy to six. Another person, Choong Yoong Kim, 43, is still missing. Seeking divine help:

. — KENNETH WONG /The Star Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency’s Kuantan enforcement chief Capt (M) Tan Kok Kwee said its boat Kilat 34 spotted Han Wen’s body. “We retrieved it from the sea and sent it here,” he told reporters here yesterday. He said the search-and-rescue mission, co-ordinated by the agency, would continue until the last missing person was found. “We have deployed at least five big boats, seven small boats and a Cessna plane. More than 120 men are taking part in the mission. “The team has stepped up operations to locate the third victim,” he said. Han Wen’s sister Yuh Jen, 24, and Yuh Ling, 28, together with an uncle, had joined the search on a marine police vessel but returned an hour later. They were then told that Han Wen's body had been recovered. They immediately broke down and Yuh Ling almost fainted. Han Wen’s father, Wong Yang Seng, 64, remained calm throughout. Meanwhile, Song Leng's body was claimed by his wife Seng May Ying at the Mersing Hospital mortuary yesterday. It was sent to Petaling Jaya for a memorial service

= == = == = == = == = = =original post First Body Found

MORE PICS – Tioman Ferry Fire Body Found ; Identified as Wong Soong Leng, 37 (immediately by the wife when the green color and dark pants were revealed to her). Body spotted by Police Air Wing floating - 2 nautical miles east Pulau Tokong Bahara

Malaysiakini has no update of this latest find

Malaysiakini has an earlier story about the survivors planning to sue

Ferry survivors likely to sue Bede Hong | Oct 16, 07 6:39pm and the latest on

Panel underfire for postponing meeting Soon Li Tsin | Oct 17, 07 2:02pm


= == == =UPDATE: Oct 18 07; 7.50am

ABOVE: Retrieval of body from sea; divers were sent down to place the body on a large inflatable raft attached with lifting cables and BELOW: the Maritime vessel then maneuver close to it
== = == == == = == = === =
ABOVE & BELOW: with a lifting boom the whole raft with the body is slowly winched up
= === == = == = == == == = == = == =BELOW: the distress wife Seng May Ying. consoled by relatives

== = == = =on-line STAR account, no pics yet

Thursday October 18, 2007
Mad scramble at Mersing jetty

MERSING: It was a chaotic scene when news that a body was found reached the jetty here at about 11am yesterday. Dozens of people, including tourists, packed the jetty waiting for the body to be sent back. Family members of the three missing men – Wong Han Wen, Choong Yoong Kim and his brother-in-law Wong Song Leng – also rushed there anxiously to learn more from the officials. Choong’s wife Wong Soo Ching was the first to burst into tears, followed by her missing brother’s wife Seng May Ying (BELOW, in yellow T-shirt).

The two women could not say anything except to put their hands together in prayer. The two sisters of Han Wen – Yuh Jen and Yuh Ling – also joined in the prayers. About an hour later, the families were told that the body would be sent to Tanjung Gemuk in Rompin, about 40km from here, as the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) boat could not dock due to low tide. Upon hearing this, the victims’ families split into two groups. One rushed towards Rompin while another stayed back here. Seng, who was at the jetty in Rompin, rushed down the walkway of the jetty but was stopped. A relative advised her not to look at the body. But when told the colour of the clothes on the body, she knew it was her husband.

= = == == = == == = == == = == = == = = =

= = ==== = = = = =NST account

Body of one victim found; By S.

MERSING: Police yesterday recovered the body of 37-year-old Wong Sing Ling, one of the three missing victims of Saturday's ferry mishap, 10.5km from the accident site. Rompin police chief Abdul Rahman Jalil said the body, which was sent to Hospital Mersing, was found by the search and rescue team at 10.30am, near Pulau Harimau. The body was found by the police air wing. It was brought in from Tanjung Gemok, about 45 minutes from Mersing. Rahman said the search and rescue team saw another body in the sea but attempts to retrieve it failed as it quickly disappeared into the water. "It was some 30 minutes after the first body was retrieved about 30m away," he said.

The 120-member search and rescue team had scoured a five-kilometre radius area where the ill-fated Seagull Express 2 ferry caught fire and sank while cruising to Tioman from Mersing. The team was still looking for Chong Yong Kim, 43, from Petaling Jaya and Wong Han Wan, 29, a factory supervisor from Klang. Wong is the fifth victim. Four others drowned in the incident, which is the second in less than a year. Last November, a 3-year-old boy was killed after a ferry collided with another passenger ferry in Langkawi. In both incidents, passengers complained about the lack of life jackets and of the unhelpful crew.Wong leaves a wife and two sons. Meanwhile, family members of the remaining two missing passengers expressed their disappointment and anger over the way the search and rescue operation was carried out on Tuesday. They claimed the operation was not carried out seriously and lacked professionalism.

Wong Yuh Jen, 24, Han Wan's sister, said the families were told the search and rescue operation would begin at 8am but the team only arrived three hours later. "They didn't allow family members to join in the operation.
"My sister began crying in front of the officers and only then did they allow us to go," she said, adding that three boats went in the operation. Sunburnt and filled with emotion, she said the search and rescue team didn't venture into nearby islands to look for the victims. "
Instead, they only shouted from the boat, calling out the victims' names. What if my brother had fainted or was injured? How could he have responded?" she said as she wiped her tears. "These are lives we are talking about, not mere puppets." Chan Ewe Aun, 53, brother-in-law of Sing Ling, said he felt the search and rescue team was not doing enough. Yong Kim's brother, Choong Yoong Fatt, agreed with Chan and was disappointed that helicopters were not sent to look for the missing victims. The arrival of a civil defence van at the Mersing jetty at 11.20am, with officials carrying stretchers, saw the victims' families rushing to the jetty. Many began to cry openly. Some started praying and chanting loudly.

= == = == == == = == == =

UPDATE: Body found was identified by family members as that of Wong Soong Leng, 37

ABOVE & BELOW: the moment after the color of the shirt & pants was revealed, the wife Seng May Ying. knew it was her husband; she was comforted by a relative
Body Of Missing Passenger In Tioman Island Ferry Tragedy Found

ABOVE & BELOW: The bloated body being transfered from the Maritime Support search vessel via the jetty to be taken to the hospital

= == = = == = == = == = =

= == = = == = = == =UP some more

MERSING, Oct 17 (Bernama) -- The body of one of the three missing passengers in the ferry fire tragedy near Pulau Tioman on Saturday was found today. The body was found floating by the Police Air Wing at two nautical miles east of Pulau Tokong Bahara, said maritime search and rescue operations coordinator Kapt Tan Kok Wee.

ABOVE: The pilot DSP Ho Kok Keong who spotted the body floating on the sea at about 10.50am with his co-pilot SM Leong , immediately contacted the nearest Support Station staff to pick up the body after circling the place for sometime and throwing in a marker buoy

ABOVE: The spot where the body was found and BELOW: the exact Spot
He said the body has been taken to Tanjung Gemok in Rompin, Pahang. The victim's family members have been asked to identify the body, he told reporters. A 120-member search and rescue team has been scouring a 5km radius area where the ill-fated Seagull Express 2 ferry caught fire and sank while cruising to Tioman Island from Mersing. The unaccounted for passengers are Choong Yoong Kim, 43, and Wong Soong Leng, 37, both from Petaling Jaya, and Wong Hann Wen, 29, a factory supervisor from Klang. Four holidaymakers were killed in the tragedy. More pictures...updated

ABOVE & BELOW: The maritime vessel that was sent to pick up the body, clad in a green shirt and dark pants

= == == = == = == = == == = == = == = =
ABOVE: The body wrapped in a brown blanket was taken down from the vessel and BELOW: on the way to the Maritime Office
= == = == = == == = == == = == = = =
ABOVE: Along the jetty walkway and BELOW: Up the ramp to the Maritime Support Station Building, where it was later transferred to the nearest hospital in Tanjung Gemok in Rompin, Pahang. A post-postmortem would have to carry out to ascertain the cause of death

= == = == == = === == = == == == = == == = == = = and what is the Donald Duck quaking about?

Are the mobile phones not utilized; in that area or out of range? How much it cost to install those sophisticated equipments and with the vibration and & water; they would be out of order or stolen very soon.

October 17, 2007 20:17 PM

Call To Equip Ferries With Communications Equipment

From Yeong Hui Ling

CHANGCHUN (China), Oct 17 (Bernama) -- Ferries should be installed with an efficient communications equipment to facilitate rescue operations during emergencies, said Malaysian Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim.He said the equipment was necessary in light of a ferry fire tragedy on Saturday while another ferry went adrift after it ran out of fuel on Monday, both off Pulau Tioman. "If the distress signal could be relayed immediately to the authorities, the search and rescue operations could be activated fast and passengers could be saved quickly," he said.

Five passengers drowned and two are still missing when a ferry on its way to Pulau Tioman from Mersing caught fire and sank at 12.30pm on Saturday.Two days later, a ferry heading for Mersing from Pulau Tioman went adrift when it ran out of fuel and passengers had to wait for 45 minutes before the fuel was replenished.

Lim asked ferry operators to make the two incidents as a lesson by complying with safety measures stipulated by the marine department. "Ferries in Langkawi and Mersing are known to be carrying extra passengers and I hope the operators are aware that they must meet the international safety standard," he told Malaysian reporters accompanying him on his visit to north-east China to promote Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2007. Lim today held a discussion with Changchun vice mayor Shenyang Songqi on bilateral cooperation in the joint-promotion of Changchun and Kuala Lumpur by introducing chartered flights between both cities. Lim said they would pursue the matter with Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and China Southern Airlines. He said MAS was not keen to develop the Shenyang-Guangzhou-Kuala Lumpur sector as it was deemed to be not a profitable route due to the lack of passengers.

= == = == = == = == = =

October 16, 2007 17:48 PM

Family Members Of Missing Ferry Fire Victims Observe SAR Operation

By Suhanie Mohd Khalid
MERSING, Oct 16 (Bernama) -- Family members of two missing victims of the "Seagull Express 2" ferry fire tragedy off Pulau Tioman today observed the search and rescue (SAR) for the three people on it still not accounted for.

ABOVE & BELOW: The ferry used by the families members and newsman

Twelve of them left the Mersing jetty at noon onboard two boats belonging to the "Blue Water" company accompanied by Pressmen to observe the search for Choong Yoong Kim, 43, Wong Soong Leng, 37, and Wong Hann Wen, 29, who have still not been found since the tragedy happened on Saturday.

Also present at the jetty were Pahang Family and Women's Development, Culture, Arts and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Maznah Mazlan, Tioman State Assemblyman Rusli Ismail and Mersing MCA division chief Ng See Tiong. The Marine Department had initially stopped them from going to sea because of safety concerns but relented after they insisted on observing the operation conducted by the Marine Police, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Department and the Royal Malaysian Navy. On nearing Pulau Tokong Bahara, the family members recited some prayers and shouted the victims names.

ABOVE: One of the relative spotted and BELOW: the plaintiff cry-out of the names of the missing persons from relatives

They were later taken to Pulau Jahat, Pulau Sri Buat and several nearby islands. However, Choong's wife Wong Soo Ching, 40, and Wong's wife Seng May Ying, 32, did not join the group and were seen meditating for about 20 minutes at the jetty. Maznah had some comforting words for Soo Ching and May Ying who were sobbing uncontrollably while waiting for news on developments of the operation. She said her visit to Mersing was to give moral support to the victims' families and to get the latest developments on the rescue operation. "I understand their feelings and helped to get them observe the operation so that they are satisfied. My concern is for the welfare of those affected and will leave the investigation to the authorities." In the tragedy at 12.30pm on Hari Raya (Saturday), the "Seagull Express 2" ferry with 106 passengers and crew on board caught fire and sank seven nautical miles off Pulau Tioman. Four passengers Hoo Lee Lan, 67, from Kuala Lumpur, Hong See Tiew, 53, and Teh Siew Lian, 52, from Klang and Tee Moi@Haw Lee Maoi, 68, from Batu Pahat lost their lives in the incident.

= == = =see related last post H E R E on

MORE PICS & Video – Reactions Tioman Ferry Tragedy; Suspended - Ferry Operator & 2 Marine Officers; Opposition Fishing in Troubled Tioman Waters

Video Clip (within clip) - 3 min 17s

= == = = == = == = P R E V I E W - coming post

MORE PICS – 19 Year Old Woman Killed When 4-WD she was traveling with 4 others skidded; 6 am Wed 17th Oct 07 Cheras Baru; ; Driver with serious head Injured warded in Bandar Tun Razak HUKM together with 3 other injured passengers

A 19-year old woman was killed when 4-WD she was in skidded in Cheras Baru 6 am Wednesday 17th Oct 2007. It was believed the vehicle was speeding.

ABOVE & BELOW: The smashed out 4-WD Vehicle.

Victim identified as Shu Zheng Wieng.

ABOVE: In the early hours of the morning, the body covered with newspapers before the body bag arrived and BELOW: Much later, the 2 uninjured had the courage to take a good look at their friend before being taken to HUKM for the required postmortem

The 4-WD vehicle she was traveling in with 4 other passengers was dragged for 100 m after it skidded. The accident caused a 10 Km traffic snarl. Driver of vehicle sustained serious head injuries and has been treated in UKM hospital together with 3 passengers of the car.

and taking another farewell look at a friend.....

What a surprise?


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