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Divers’ deaths caused by fish-bombing, police confirm

Divers’ deaths caused by fish-bombing, police confirm


By Elton Gomez on July 10, 2019, Wednesday at 5:20 PM Crime, News, Sabah

The bodies of the victims taken onto the mainland jetty. – File photo


KOTA KINABALU: Police have confirmed that the death of the three divers who were killed when scuba-diving at Kulapuan Island in Semporna on July 5, was caused by fish-bombing.

State Commissioner of Police Datuk Omar Mammah made the confirmation following the autopsy reports from Tawau Hospital.

“Post-mortem on all three victims were completed early this morning (yesterday) at 5am, and report shows that all three victims’ injuries were consistent with blast injuries or injuries due to explosion,” he said yesterday.

Omar added that the reports also indicated that all three victims sustained severe internal injuries, such as crack on the skulls, broken bones and ribs, as well as internal bleeding in vessels and abdomen.

Local dive instructor Ab Zainal Abdu, 30, and two Chinese tourists identified as Zhao Zhong and Xu Yingjie, both 26, were killed after they were believed hit by fish-bomb while scuba-diving at Kulapuan Island in Semporna on July 5.

They were initially dropped off by their boatman at a dive site at Kulapuan Island in Semporna around 2.30pm on that day.

It was learned that Ab Zainal had told the boatman to go back to the jetty, which was about 100 meters from the dive site, to take couple more dive tanks.

About an hour later, the boatman and the boat guide returned to the dive site only to find sea foam around the area while the three divers were no where to be found.

The boatman immediately radio for help, prompting a search operation by several professional divers.

The bodies of Ab Zainal, Zhao Zhong and Xu Yingjie were recovered by divers at a depth of 5.8m by 4.50pm, while most of their dive equipment were damage.

Police also found several damaged corals as well as dead fish at the dive site, believed due to fish bomb activity.

Police have since detained the 24-year-old boatman and the 23-year-old guide, who are both related to Ab Zainal, to assist police investigation.

Authority are also trying to identified the fishermen or individual who were allegedly responsible for the incident.


News date: 
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
News source: