Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Teen goes missing in dam

GEORGE TOWN: A teenage official of the Pesta Penang Dragon Boat Race 2012 is feared drowned after he allegedly jumped into the Teluk Bahang Dam for a swim.

The remainder of the dragon boat meet was cancelled when Jacob Issac Fletcher, 19, disappeared from sight after he shouted for help during the event's one-hour lunch interval.

Jacob was said to have ignored a warning by senior technical official Peter Ng that swimming was not allowed in the dam.

“I warned him earlier in the morning after I saw him swimming and he promised not to,” said Ng, 50.

Other officials heard Jacob yelling for help at 12.50pm yesterday but could not locate him when they dived in to rescue him.

Some 20 participants from the Malaysia Navy Paddlers Club assisted in the search.

The event organisers only realised Jacob was missing when he failed to report to the secretariat before the commencement of the races after lunch.

They even made several announcements and phone calls to contact him but to no avail.

Only 15 out of 25 races were held prior to the incident. The rest were called off to facilitate the search.

Jacob, a hotel management student at PTPL College, was said to be a very good swimmer and had been involved in dragon boat activities since he was 14.

He was appointed starting line official only last year.

The search operation was called off at 7pm yesterday and will resume today.

The water level at the dam yesterday was at 46.4m.

Balik Pulau OCPD Supt Mohd Hatta said Jacob was not wearing a life jacket when the incident happened.

Jacob's father Paul Thomas Fletcher broke down when he arrived at the scene at about 3.50pm.

“I hope that my son can be found,” he said.

Jacob's aunt Marie Fletcher, in her 50s, described her nephew as a bubbly and considerate person.

State Tourism Development and Culture Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang said Jacob might have suffered a cramp when he called out for help.


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