| Hakim Hayat |
THE body of a 17-year-old local boy who went missing after a motorboat collision in Kg Ayer on Wednesday night was retrieved around noon yesterday, the Royal Brunei Police Force has confirmed.
The body of Md Aminuddin Kassim was found 50 metres away from the scene of the accident in the vicinity of Kg Pekan Lama at 12.57pm.
The search and rescue operation, which was led by the Fire and Rescue Department, involved personnel from the Marine Police, Kg Ayer Police Station, Royal Brunei Police Force, as well as Fire and Rescue Department.
Over 20 personnel were deployed, including 11 divers. Relatives of the victim also joined in the search.
The youth was involved in a collision with another motorboat at about 10pm Wednesday night that plunged him into the murky Brunei River. Strong currents had hampered search and rescue operations.
After a post-mortem in RIPAS Hospital, the body of Md Aminuddin Kassim was handed over to his family at Kg Kerma Indera Lama for burial rites.
According to a relative, the youth had dropped his father off at the nearby night stall located at Temburong jetty and that the incident had happened as he was heading home.
There were no other passengers in the motorboat.
The driver of the other boat is reported to be in a stable condition and is currently being treated at RIPAS Hospital.
In view of the incident, the Fire and Rescue Department reminded water taxi drivers and other boat operators to exercise extra caution when travelling. They were advised to ensure that there is ample lighting and to wear life jackets at all times.
Observers pointed out that the relevant authorities should do more to ensure that all water taxi drivers and their passengers wear life jackets to prevent any untoward incidents.