Probe on fish bomb link to Semporna tourist deaths
Published on: Saturday, July 06, 2019
By: Lagatah Toyos and Hayati Dzulkifli

SEMPORNA: Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah confirmed the deaths of two Chinese tourists and a local dive master in Semporna on Friday afternoon but are still investigating a claim that it was caused by a fish bomb thrown into the water by a fisherman there. Photos of the tragedy went viral in social media at 6.50pm showing the public helping to carry the bodies.

According to one version, the three were diving when a fish bomb exploded near them. The fisherman was believed to have used a pump boat to carry out the illegal activity in Kalapuan island area that was outside Sabah Parks jurisdiction.

Omar told Daily Express he is still waiting for a report from the District Police Chief. It was learnt that the boatman who transported the three divers to the scene left the area to send other customers for snorkelling. Based on Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), the boatman should wait for the three divers to come up from diving and not abandon them.

Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) President Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said the association condemned fishermen resorting to fish bombing that is prohibited by law. He said enforcement authorities should proceed to nab the said culprits and render grave punishment to them. He urged all professional dive masters and tourists to be alert and not dive close to fishermen’s boats so as to avoid potential untoward incidents and boat propellers which are dangerous.


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