The body of a 42-year-old Hong Kong national who drowned while competing in the 2018 Port Dickson International Triathlon yesterday, was found floating in the waters off Tanjung Tuan today.
Negeri Sembilan Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) director Norazam Khamis said the body of Jeffrey Yuen Chi Yuen was discovered by fishermen at around 7.52am, about one nautical mile from where he disappeared.
His family had identified the body and we have handed over the case to the police, he told reporters at the Port Dickson Hospital mortuary.
Norazam said the body was taken to the hospital for post-mortem.
He also said 15 FRD personnel had earlier mounted a search and rescue (SAR) operation using two boats and two jet skis, covering two nautical miles from the spot where the victim went missing about midnight but they could not locate him.
Norazam said the SAR operation, which also comprised Water Rescue Team, Marine Operations Force, Civil Defence Force and the Port Dickson Municipal Council, was called off at 9 am.
Yesterday, Yuen’s wife had reported him missing when he failed to return to the beach after taking part in the swimming event.
He was supposed to have continued with the cycling competition but failed to show up.
Besides Yuen, another participant, Tharm Wei Wong of Penang, drowned while taking part in the same competition at around 8am.
Tharm, 39 from Penang drowned after covering a distance of 750 metres.
Attempts were made to resuscitate the victim but he did not respond.
He was then rushed to the Port Dickson Hospital, where he was declared dead.
It was reported that a committee would be set up to probe the deaths.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the committee would be headed by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali.
“The committee will look into, among others, if there was any breach of conditions or laws,” Syed Saddiq said.
Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Aminuddin Harun told reporters that the tragedies were not due to the negligence of the organiser but were accidents.
He said the organisers had switched the route for the swimming event to a safer area after realising that the sea was turbulent early in the morning.
“The security aspect carried out by the organisers has been enhanced compared to the previous edition and it has also obtained the approval of the Fire and Rescue Department,” he said.
Based on newspaper reports, the Port Dickson International Triathlon has been held since 1996, with Malaysia’s Ironman Mohamad Razani Hussain winning the inaugural edition.
The deaths shocked many as the event is widely regarded among the triathlon community.