JOHOR BARU: A teenager drowned along the Johor Strait after a mishap during a funeral ritual.
S. Satish, 18, and three of his relatives had followed a priest to the sea for a ritual to immerse the ashes of his late uncle at Pantai Lido, around 11.25am yesterday.
The group had initially booked a boat to ferry them to sea to release the ashes but it did not turn up as it had engine problems.
The priest and the group decided to wade 15m into the sea to start the ritual but this turned out to be a fatal mistake.
Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Sulaiman Salleh said Satish, who was carrying the urn, was about to release the ashes when he slipped and went underwater.
The others in the group desperately tried to save Satish but failed to locate him.
Asst Comm Sulaiman said the three relatives did not suffer any injuries but the priest was sent to Sultanah Aminah Hospital after he swallowed too much seawater.
ACP Sulaiman said the victim, from Yong Peng, was the youngest of three siblings and had just completed his SPM examinations.
Police launched a search and rescue operation and found Satishâ€™s body at about 4.30pm, about 40m away from the spot.
ACP Sulaiman said a total of 57 people from various agencies and departments, including the police, Johor Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Department, marine police and seven divers from a private company took part in the search operation.