KOTA KINABALU: A couple from China were rescued after being stranded among coral reefs in Sabah's east coast Semporna district.

Earlier, the tourists had caused panic among Mabul Paradise resort staff when they failed to return following a kayaking outing on Friday night.

The couple, Zhai Zhe, 26, and Qin Yiping, 28, had gone out kayaking around the resort at about 5.30pm.

Kayak operators and resort staff immediately informed security forces at 8pm when the duo failed to return to the resort.

Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said a search team led by Semporna Marine commanding officer Asst Supt Safardi Abd Samad was mounted following the report.

“They searched for the couple around the resort and found them stranded at a coral site some 500m from the resort at about 9pm,” he said.

It turned out that the couple had become too exhausted to row back to the resort because of the low tide.

“The kayak got stuck among the coral reefs due to the low tide and they could not return,” Wan Bari said.

He commended the resort staff for their quick response in alerting the security forces that the duo were missing.

“It was such fast action and information that helped the rescue effort,” he said.

 

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