Abdul Hakim Salam (second from left) with the boat in which he was adrift for more than 20 hours.
KUALA TERENGGANU (NST): Drifting in the sea on a boat which had run out of fuel and blanketed by thick haze, all Abdul Halim Salam could do was to pray.
After a little over 20 hours, the 51-year-old teacher was spotted by a search party yesterday near Pulau Kapas, 60 nautical miles from Pantai Pengkalan Maras here.
“I just thought of God and prayed. I was so relieved when I saw my rescuers. I never thought I would be saved.”
Halim had left for Pulau Yu, an island near Pulau Bidong in Setiu, with three friends on Thursday morning on a fishing trip and was to have returned in the afternoon.
They started out in their own boats before going their separate ways.
Halim said his engine was giving trouble while he was heading towards Pulau Yu and had used up a lot of fuel. The moment he arrived at the fishing spot, the haze began to set in.
When he decided to head back about 3pm, there was no fuel left in the boat.
Halim, however, managed to call for help just before his handphone battery went dead and a search party was immediately organised.
Among those in the search party was Halim’s friend, Wan Harun Wan Ali, 51, who said Halim was weak and dehydrated when they found him.