Missing Singaporean kayakers: Malaysian officials say body found off Terengganu coast, identity unconfirmed

Josephine Puah Geok Tin, 57, (left) and Tan Eng Soon, 62. (PHOTO: Louis Pang/Instagram)

SINGAPORE — Malaysian officials have confirmed that a body was found off the coast of Terengganu on Wednesday (14 August), six days after a Singaporean pair went missing during a kayak expedition.

In response to Yahoo News Singapore’s queries, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said that the body was found fully clothed with a life jacket by a fisherman about 100 nautical miles (185 km) from where the duo went missing.

“The body has not been identified and is being brought to land by rescuers,” the statement in Malay said.

Josephine Puah Geok Tin, 57, along with retired lawyer Tan Eng Soon, 62, became separated from a group of 13 other Singaporeans at around 5.40pm in Endau waters last Thursday, some eight hours after setting off from a jetty in Mersing.

The duo was believed to have drifted away from the group due to turbulent sea and strong wind conditions.

According to the national broadsheet The Straits Times, Puah's family members were seen entering a room at the search and rescue centre in Mersing after the body was found, where they spoke to local authorities and consulate personnel. They have been asked to help identify the body.

Among them were her son Louis Pang, 23, and husband Peng Mun Kit, 56.

The discovery of a body comes a day after a green kayak was found by a fisherman more than 80 nautical miles (148 km) away from where the duo were last seen.

Two bags containing Malaysian and Singapore currencies, one mobile phone, a Singapore passport belonging to Tan, a clothing bag, one identity card and a paddle were found in the kayak, said local authorities.

Puah’s and Tan’s family members had verified the belongings of the two missing Singaporeans, according to an Instagram story by Louis Pang on Wednesday.

None of the eight 1.5-litre water bottles belonging to the duo has been found, Pang said.

The family members are continuing to pray and “still have high hope on my Mummy and Mr Matthew (Tan to) return”, he added.

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