JOHOR - There have been many drowning incidents lately, but this one tugs at the heartstrings of even the most stone-hearted.
Madam Suhaili Sarudin, a mother who lost her son in the drowning in Segamat, Johor, even had a premonition. She dreamt of a rotting body near her house, The Star reported.
Hours later, the 39-year-old faced a real-life nightmare: Her son was among eight boys who drowned in Sungai Muar last Friday.
She said: "I never imagined the nightmare was a sign that I would never see my son alive again."
The body Mohd Nazrul Aminuddin Zambri, 16, was recovered on Friday along with the bodies of his friends, Mohd Hafizul Danial Norhashim, 16, and Mohd Zikri Zaidi, 14.
Last Saturday, the bodies of the others were also recovered.
The tragedy happened after seven boys jumped into the river to help their friend.
One of the boys, Mohd Shahrul Abdul Halim, 14, said they started jogging at a nearby recreational area around 6.30am.
After the run, they rested at a shack near the river. Six of them remained there while eight walked along the riverbank.
He said: "Mohd Hafizuddin, who was fooling around, said he wanted to swim, but I told him it was dangerous as the sand was soft.
"Suddenly, he sank into the river and disappeared. My other friends jumped in to pull him out but they, too, did not come up again."
A man, who was at the scene during the search-and-rescue mission, claimed the sand extracting activity had created a "deep hole" in the river.
Segamat MP and Health Minister S Subramaniam described the drowning as the biggest tragedy in the area.
He has requested that the state drainage and irrigation department conduct an in-depth study on the river.