GEORGE TOWN: Seven people, including three boys, fell into the sea near here after the bridge they were standing on gave way while they were posing for a photograph at the Batu Maung jetty.
The group, who had earlier attended a protest by some 30 trawler operators against the Government’s move to increase the price of subsidised diesel, had wanted to pose with their boats in the background.
They were standing on the bridge and calling out to other fishermen to join in for the photograph when the bridge collapsed.
However, as the water level was low, they managed to climb onto the remnants of the bridge before walking back to shore.
During the protest, Ismail Kassim, 58, said the Class B operators-cum-fishermen from Batu Maung and Teluk Bahang were worried that they would also be affected by the increase in diesel price to RM1.80 per litre for deep-sea C2 trawlers.
“We are still buying diesel at RM1.25 per litre and we will not be able to afford a decent living if there is an increase.
“We are already spending up to RM600 – sometimes RM800 a day – for the diesel when we are out at sea for nine hours,” Ismail said.
Class B trawlers are allowed to fish within 20 nautical miles from the coast.
It was reported that more than 100 trawlers were docked at the Malaysia Fisheries Department Authority complex in Kuantan after fishermen claimed that they could not afford to go out to sea due to the sudden increase in diesel price. - theStarOnline