Monday, June 11, 2012

Bintulu Regatta 2012 now open for entries

BINTULU: Entries are now open for Bintulu Regatta 2012 which will be held from July 8 to 9 and it is expected to attract participants from throughout the state whose skills, endurance and speed will be well tested.

The event co-organising chairman, Muhamad Yakub Kari who is also Bintulu resident said this year’s regatta is expected to become one of the finest to held so far because of the 2.2 kilometres distance that must be covered by the competing paddlers.

“It (distance) will be challenging for the participants but we will make sure all the safety measures for this year’s event are well looked after and that we will not compromise on technical aspects of it” he said on the upcoming event which the entry forms are now available at Sarawak Rivers Board’s (LSS) Bintulu office located at Bintulu Passenger Terminal of Jalan Sri Dagang.

“Skills and endurance will be the key for this year’s regatta and we don’t believe only speed but these two elements will make the race more interesting,” Yakub said on the race which is from Sg Sebiew to Bintulu Promenade.

Those interested can call the organising committee contact persons in Wan Ilham Wan Ahmad at 012-8826862 or Saminan Matyasin at 019-8178745 who will assist the public on any enquiries. 

They can also call 086-335853 or 315908 for more details. The forms are sold at RM5 for each category with the closing date for submission is June 28 at 12pm. It is also open to participants from neighbouring Brunei.

Jointly organised by Bintulu Resident’s Office and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA), the event is expected to be officiated by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud while the Head of State, Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Sallahudin is expected to grace the closing ceremony.

Eight categories in ‘perahu bidar’ event will be contested namely men’s open 10 paddlers; men’s open 15 paddlers; men’s open 20 paddlers; Chief Minister Cup men’s 25 paddlers; TYT Cup (King of the river) men’s 30 paddlers; women’s open 10 paddlers; women’s open 15 paddlers and inter-government agency and private sector men’s 15 paddlers.

Another eight categories in ‘perahu temuai’ event are men’s open 10 paddlers; men’s open 15 paddlers; men’s open 20 paddlers; men’s open 25 paddlers; Chief Minister Cup men’s 30 paddlers; women’s open 10 paddlers; women’s open 15 paddlers; and inter government agency and private sector men’s 15 paddlers.

The F3000 Power boat and tunnel boat (SST60 horsepower (hp); 40hp; 30hp; 18hp; 15hp) categories will also be contested.

Apart from that, longboats or fishermen boats involving 30hp and 15hp will also be featured at this year’s regatta and it is expected to attract more locals boat owners to join the race just for the fun of it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Missing anglers and crew found

BINTULU: A boat skipper and two crew members together with 14 anglers were found safe and sound on their fishing vessel about 35 nautical miles from the Bintulu coastline around 7am yesterday.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Bintulu District enforcement chief Commander Sazali Mohamad said an integrated search-and-rescue operation was launched on Monday after receiving the report.

“However, yesterday (Monday) we had no clues on their whereabouts and the search-and-rescue operations were continued today (Tuesday) together with various agencies including Bintulu Port, Murphy, Petronas and others.

“Around 7am today (Tuesday), the Murphy search team informed us the missing fishing vessel was found stranded about 35 nautical miles from the Bintulu coastline due to engine failure,” he said when contacted for confirmation yesterday.

All the 17 anglers were brought home by two MMEA boats together with 20 personnel around 1pm yesterday.

The fishing vessel was towed back to assist in the investigation.

“Thank God, the search-and-rescue teams managed to find them otherwise the fishing vessel could have been swept farther out to sea,” said Sazali.

He advised anglers who planned to go out on fishing trips to ensure all safety measures were taken.

“The most important thing is to ensure the communication gadget is functioning. In this case, they failed make contact to seek for help due to engine failure.

“In case of emergencies, especially at sea, communication tools are extremely important besides the condition of the vessel,” he said, adding that the skipper or boat owner should be responsible and expect the unexpected, be prepared for any possibility and have an alternative plan.

He said they would conduct further investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

“We urge all precautions to be taken into consideration in the future before embarking on a fishing trip out to sea,” said Sazali.

Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing was among those present to greet the 17 anglers. When met at the passenger wharf terminal, all of them looked exhausted.

The group from Kuching, Miri and Bintulu was reported missing by their family members on Monday after they failed to return home from a fishing trip on June 1.