Sunday, May 13th, 2007
Crocodile takes man in front of nephew
By Patrick Joseph
BINTULU: A 31-year-old plantation driver, Sangga Megong, disappeared while fishing in Sungai Maba at a spot some 69 kilometres from here about 6.45pm last Friday.
SEARCH IN PROGRESS: Police search for Sangga in Sungai Maba
A crocodile took my uncle right before my eyes, cried his 14-year-old nephew, identified only as Nicholas.
Uncle and nephew from Rumah Banggau, Mile 35.5 Jalan Bintulu-Miri went in a car to the river. About 6pm Sangga parked his car near Sungai Maba Bridge and they continued on foot.
Then about 6.30pm they decided to stop fishing because it was high tide. However, they could not just leave because Sanggas fishing net got stuck in the water.
My uncle told me to wait on the river bank then ducked under water to check the net, Nicholas said yesterday. Shortly after that I noticed that he had some difficulty getting out of the water. It was as if his legs were being pulled by something in the water.
When he was about to get into the water to help his uncle, he saw a crocodiles head which he claimed to be as big as a 16-inch television set.
He panicked when he realised that the crocodile was pulling his uncle down.
I could not do anything because I was so fearful. After my uncle disappeared went under and didnt resurface, I lost my mind and ran back to the car.
Eventually he decided to drive his uncles car back to the longhouse to bring the bad news.
About 8pm the villages formed a search party and went to look for Sangga. It was futile because they were not well-equipped to operate in the river in the dark.
The villagers knew there are crocodiles in the river, but there also a lot of fish. So the temptation to try their luck and tempt fate is great, sometimes with dire consequences.
It was our third fishing trip there, said Nicholas, who still trembled which he recalled how his uncle met his end.
The search for Sangga now involves the marine police, regular police, fire and rescue department personnel, and Sarawak Forestry officials.