Saturday, 8 December 2007

Latest news on missing swimmer

THE family of a Malaysian-born man missing off Moreton Island yesterday spoke of their pride in their son's heroic final actions as hopes of finding him alive all but evaporated.

Zi-On Kerk, 25, was last seen assisting a young Korean woman in Honeymoon Bay on the northern tip of the island at 3.40pm on Wednesday.

Police described how he threw the woman on to rocks, possibly saving her life before he was swept away by a wave.

Brother Brian Zi-Lu Kerk, who flew to Brisbane from Melbourne to be with his grieving parents, said it did not surprise him to hear Zion had put someone else's well-being before his own.

"He was always helping people. He has such a kind nature. It's just like him to do something like this," said Mr Kerk fighting back tears.

"He's not a big guy. He's like a stick and he was not a strong swimmer . . . It's such a shock," he said. "He will always be my older brother."

Mother Chong Cho Tan who flew from Malaysia last night with Zion's father Kerk Choon Keng, said her eldest son was a sergeant in the boys' brigade who kept a "low profile".

"He was a loving son, a good brother. We're a very close family," Mrs Tan said.

She said Zion had studied commerce and accounting in Canberra before moving to Brisbane to undertake a master's degree in property valuation at the University of Queensland.

"We're hoping for the best but if God has taken him then we have to accept that," Mrs Tan said.

Mr Keng said the family had been briefed by the water police and understood the search would soon become a recovery operation for his body.

Inspector Mark Jones said Zi-On's family would accompany water police to Moreton Island tomorrow to view the search area.

Friday, 7 December 2007

missing swimmer

latest news from australia about kerk zi on, our daugther's god-brother.

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Search fails to find swimmer missing off Moreton Is
Posted December 7, 2007 20:27:00

Map: Cape Moreton 4025
Police say they hold serious concerns for the safety of a man who is missing off Moreton Island near Brisbane.

The 25-year-old university student disappeared in rough surf while trying to help another swimmer at Honeymoon Bay on the northern tip of the island on Wednesday.

The other swimmer made it safely back to shore.

The state Water Police coordinator, Acting Inspector Warren Francis, says an air and sea search today has failed to find him.

"We've used some devices that help us track the movement of the water and where a swimmer would have gone and that indicates to us that it would have been a very local issue," he said.

Acting Inspector Francis says there are serious concerns for his safety.

"We refer to medical experts in survival medicine and they give us what we call a timeframe for survival and I must say that we're pretty well outside that time now," he said.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

need your urgent prayers

need your urgent prayers. my daughter's god-brother is missing at sea in australia. heard the news from her godparents mr and mrs kerk choon keng from teluk intan. their eldest son, zi on, swam to save a girl from drowning but was himself swept by a rip into the sea. he is still missing. his parents have left tonight by plane for australia. i append the yahoo australia news and brisbanenews below:

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Yahoo Australia
Thursday December 6, 07:25 PM

Rescuer missing off Moreton Island

Concerns are growing for a man who went missing in the ocean off Queensland's Moreton Island after going to help a woman in difficulty.

Police said seven boats and three helicopters searched without success on Thursday for the man, believed to have been swept out to sea shortly before 4pm (AEST) on Wednesday.

The man, thought to be aged in his 20s, entered the water at Honeymoon Bay, on the northern tip of Moreton Island, to help the woman, a police spokesman said.

The woman eventually made it back to shore but the man, who was part of a touring group, has not been seen since.

The search would resume early Friday morning, police said.

The missing man, a 25-year-old Malaysian national, has been hailed a hero after apparently sacrificing himself to save the woman who had been caught in a rip and dragged out to sea.

Network Ten reported the pair had been part of a group of 15 students from the University of Queensland and were swimming at Honeymoon Bay on Wednesday when the woman got into difficulty.

Trevor Hassard from Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort on Moreton Island said the man managed to rescue the woman from the sea and move her to safety on rocks but was unable to climb to safety himself.

"In doing that, he put himself out of the reach of the rescuers," Mr Hassard told Network Ten.

"It's absolutely and completely heroic."

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Brisbane News

A Malaysian student has saved a woman from drowning off south-east Queensland and likely lost his own life in the process.

Police said the 25-year-old man went missing off Moreton Island after helping a woman in difficulty shortly before 4pm (AEST) yesterday.

The pair were with a group of Malaysian students from the University of Queensland camping at Honeymoon Bay with Brisbane-based Blue Planet Tours, said Trevor Hassard from Moreton Island's Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort.

The group went swimming in the bay and soon found themselves caught in a rip.

"As they came out past the rocks, they were yelling and screaming,'' Mr Hassard told AAP today.

"The Malaysians who made it to the rocks leaned over and grabbed the people as they went past and they were very successful,'' he said.

"They got down to two people left, a male and a female in the water and the man was within reach.

"But he actually grabbed the female who was out of reach and pushed her towards the people who were rescuing other members of the group.

"She got pulled out of the water but in pushing her within reach, he pushed himself out of reach.

"He saved her life but it is likely that he lost his own.

"It was absolutely amazing - a totally selfless thing.''

Mr Hassard said people had been lost at Honeymoon Bay in the past.
Conditions there varied so people staying at the resort were advised not to swim there.

"We have a policy where no one is allowed in the water past their knees at Honeymoon Bay,'' he said.

Police are talking to Blue Planet Tours to determine what happened.
Its manager, Ian Stuart, said the company had been "devastated'' by yesterday's events but declined to comment further.

An air and sea search was due to resume at first light tomorrow

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Happy Hannukah (corrected)

sorry for the boo-boo on last entry on happy hanukkah (which i removed)! thanks to peng shyang who pointed it out to me. it is not that i didn't know, i guess it was probably i was too busy preparing to go to teach the TEE course the next day that i was not even aware of what i was writing!

hanukkah is of course the feast of lights or dedication. it was to commemorate the restoration and cleansing of the Jerusalem temple after it was defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes IV when he sacrificed a pig on the altar. this started the maccabean revolt which lasted about 5 years (168-63 BC). when the seleucids finally left palestine and gave the rule back to the jews. the first thing they did was to remove and replace the defiled altar. the Temple was cleansed and hanukkah came to be observed.

TEE Module in Malaysian CARE center

i will be away from this wednesday till saturday, teaching a 3 and 1/2 days (or 28 hours) TEE module on Biblical Interpretation at the Malaysian CARE center. This TEE module is mainly for the Malaysian CARE staff as part of their in-house training and on completion, a CertCM is awarded. as such, the courses are designed for a lower level (more for laypeople wanting to have some sort of training but not geared too much towards the academic side). some other people are also taking the course on audit.

as i do not like to travel everyday from seremban to kl, i will be staying at hotel seri petaling (the closest hotel available). so, i may be without email or internet contact for the next few days. on sunday, i will have to make a 2 hours drive at 6.45am to go to segamat to preach and conduct holy communion in the wesley methodist church. that's is all in a few days' work.

Monday, 3 December 2007

busy day

monday was a busy day. busy not in work but in repairing my old faithful car. i have a 1983 madza 323. bought it when it was 5 years old from my cousin for rm 16k in those days but used it for the next 20 years. it is now 25 years old. a classic. but as it gets old, spare parts are harder to get. this morning i sent my car to a new mechanic. the old one couldn't solve my brake pump problem. 6 months ago, he suggested changing a recond model but from a different make of car. that was not cheap . rm 148 for the recond model. after a few months the brakes didn't work well. imagine driving a car with a faulty brake pump. sometimes you can brake, other times you can't! the times when you can't brake, you have to pull the handbrake in order to come to a stop! 2 weeks ago, i sent the car back to him and he suggested changing the pistons inside. paid another sum of money but the problem still persisted.

the new mechanic, appu, is great. he knows his stuff. has a band of workers under him. all indians and a few foreigners. they all looked up to him like a king! he sugested changing to the original madza pump. got a recond madza model but the booster pump was faulty. got the shop to change another but the only one nearest to it was a different make. but it worked. since i was there, took the opportunity to change rear brake pads and mini pumps and a left rear rocker arm. everything came to a hefty sum of rm 315.00!

this is quite a sum considering the fact that if i sell my 25 year old car, i probably get only rm 1k to 1.5k. so, the repair cost came to about a third or a fifth of the cost of the car! would it be cheaper to sell off the car and buy another second hand model? or continue to keep the car since it is almost 'worthless' (but still good for town driving)? after all, if i sell it off, what can i get for rm 1k to 1.5k?

there must be an OT lesson somewhere here! keep and don't forget the old, for old vintage wine is better! or don't waste time with the old. go for the new. new wine is cheaper and best.