GEORGE TOWN - It was a tragic outing for two friends from Perak when one of them went missing after being swept away by strong waves while swimming in Batu Ferringhi here.
S. Murally, 24, from Menglembu, Perak, was swimming with his friend Y. Subramaniam, 27, at around 4.30pm when they were believed to have been dragged into the sea by the strong waves.
Subramaniam was fortunately saved by several people who were on the beach.
George Town Deputy OCPD Supt V. Saravanan said the Batu Ferringhi police station received a distress call at 4.50pm informing them of the incident.
"Initial investigation found that the victims were swimming outside the swimming area at the time of the incident.
"The weather was cloudy and it was raining," he said yesterday.
A search and rescue operation was launched by the police, the Fire and Rescue Department and the Malaysian Maritime Enforce-ment Agency.
The Fire and Rescue Department in a statement said they tried to look for the swimmer with the help of two divers to no avail.
"The operation was tempo-rarily called off at 8pm after it got dark."