Four individuals who went missing at sea almost a week during a fishing trip were found safe and returned home after an effort coordinated by multi-agencies located their boat yesterday morning.
The Ministry of Defence (MinDef), asked by the Bulletin for more details on the rescue operation shared that the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ), upon receiving information from the National Control Centre (PKN) deployed a Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) Blackhawk S70i that located the boat at 10.40am.
RBAirF informed the location of the missing boat by giving the GPS coordinates to the Royal Brunei Navy’s (RBN) patrol vessel KDB Berkat, who later reached the boat by 11.40am.
They were supplied with petrol, food and water by KDB Berkat and later convoyed back to the shores with their friend on another boat and arrived at Kuala Tutong at 2.23pm.During the coordinated response, PKN informed the National Maritime Monitoring Centre and the National Search and Rescue Coordination Centre (NSARCC), who liaised with the RBAF JFHQ throughout the operation.
According to one of the children of the four individuals, Mohd Aidil bin Haji Yasin, the four men went for the fishing trip early Saturday morning from Tutong District and the family members did not hear from them for several days. “Usually when they go on a fishing trip out at sea, they will return within one to two days but my mother noticed something amiss when she received no news from them,” he told the Bulletin.
The Bulletin attempted to contact one of those who was found yesterday but the phone number given was unreachable.
According to Mohd Aidil last evening, his father and his friends were all in good health when found, and are undergoing medical observations at the Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah Hospital in Tutong.