SINGAPORE: A woman’s body was found in waters off Kemaman, Terengganu, on Wednesday (Aug 14), Chinese portal 8world.com reported, as the search continued for two Singaporeans who went missing while kayaking.
Family members of Ms Puah Geok Tin have been notified but formal identification has yet to take place, the report said.
According to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), a local fisherman found the body at about noon.
The authorities were transporting the body to the Kemaman police station.
Ms Puah, 64, and Mr Tan Eng Soon, 52, were separated from a group while kayaking near the Endau islands last Thursday.
Earlier on Wednesday, their family members identified the personal items in their kayak, which was found by local fishermen off Kuantan the day before.
READ: Kayak belonging to missing Singaporeans found as search operations enter fifth day in Malaysia
Also found were other items, including food rations, Mr Tan’s passport, two purses with money, a mobile phone, a bag of clothes, identity card and a paddle.
MMEA Mersing zone director Haris Fadzillah Abdullah said family members confirmed that the items belonged to Mr Tan and Ms Puah.
They also confirmed that the kayak was the one used by the pair when they went missing, he added.
Noting that the pair’s water bottles were not in the kayak, Ms Puah’s son Louis Pang said this provided “some hope” for the family.
“The kayak was a clue, out of the vast area of the sea, it was a clue for us. At the same time it was worrying for us because of the food rations inside, it’s something we are worried about.
“But we are still keeping very high hopes for them to come back safely,” he said.
Mr Haris said on Wednesday that they would widen the search to cover Kuantan, Pahang.
“The search and rescue (SAR) mission involves 10 marine assets of MMEA, police, Fire and Rescue Department, and Royal Malaysian Navy, covering 451 square nautical miles with 119 rescuers from various agencies,” he said.
READ: More aircraft, rescuers deployed in search for Singaporean kayakers missing off Mersing, Johor
READ: Search area for missing Singaporean kayakers expanded
SAR personnel had also scoured the islands around Endau waters at the request of the families of Tan and Puah.
“For the past two days, the sea has been rough with waves of between 1.5m and 3m high, which is dangerous to small boats,” he added.
Mr Pang thanked the authorities for their help in finding his mother and Mr Tan.
“I really want to thank the marine police, the Malaysian Navy, the police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for really putting so much effort to come and help us in this search,” he said.
“It has been six days, and I believe a lot of them had very little rest. They are doing all that they can to help us … We’re very thankful for all their support.”
Mr Pang said earlier on Wednesday that their family and friends really missed Ms Puah.
“I love my mum a lot,” he said. “Our family members are very close. There are so many things I want to tell her. I just hope she comes back safely.”
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article said that the woman’s body was that of missing Singaporean kayaker Ms Puah Geok Tin. 8World has since updated its report to say that formal identification has not taken place yet.