Chinese tourists rescued after kayak runs aground on Semporna coral reef

KRISTY INUS

SEMPORNA: Two tourists from China were rescued by police when their kayak ran aground on a coral reef in Pulau Mabul waters here, last night.

Qin Yiping, 28 and Zhao Zhe, 26, were reported missing by Resort Mabul Paradise staff to the police's Island Forward Operation Base (IFOB) at Pulau Mabul at 8pm.

The couple was last seen at 5.30pm, kayaking near Pulau Mabul, said Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander, Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid in a statement.

"After receiving the information, Semporna Marine Commanding Officer Assistant Superintendent Safardi Abd Samad directed two marine police boats at the island and one resort boat to bring eight IFOB policemen to search for the missing tourists.

"The speedy action resulted in (the discovery of the two) about 500 metres south of Pulau Mabul, at 9pm, at a coral reef section," he elaborated.

It was revealed that the couple grew tired from paddling and the kayak ended up stuck on the reef during low tide.

Wan Abdul Bari added that Esscom has advised all resort operators to prioritise safety aspects for their guests.

"We also emphasised that all activities (should be closely) monitored by resorts to ensure utmost security (for) tourists," he stressed.