Pilot: Capt(U) Hashim
Aircrewman: Sgt(U) Stephen
Crashed site: In a river near Santubung, Kuching,Sarawak.
Date crashed: 25.11.82
Photo: Alouette III underslunged by a Nuri helicopter.
In the early morning on Nov 25,1982 at 0700hrs as I was having breakfast at my living quarters at the Penrissen camp just about four kilometer from No7 Sqn.RMAF Base Kuching. My pet 'The Fish' had its breakfast too. Its my neighbour's pet anyway, given to me for a temporary custody while he was on leave back in the west Malaysia. I don't mind being a samaritan as a neighbour. After feeding the fish, my wife accompanied me to the door and I left for work and was supposed to fly with Capt(U) Hashim, aircraft Alouette III FM1318, a training flight Kuching-Santubong Area-Kuching. I arrived at the squadron early and was ready to fly then, but was stopped by my Chief Aircrew WO Thesigan due to another important duties that I have to performed and instead Sgt(U) Stephen had to replace me for that training flight.
As I was sipping my coffee in the crew rest-room, suddenly awakened by the operation room's call telling us that FM1318 had crashed. I looked at my wrist-watch, it was 1100hrs and SAR was activated by the base, Nuri's SAR airborned immediately at about 1110hrs, while we waited for the uncertainty information from the crash site at the base. After a short while, good news broke with joy that both of them were safe and sound and were sent to Kuching's General Hospital for an out-patient treatment. A visit by squadron personnel were organised for both of them before lunch-breaks with cheers and laughters heard at the hospital while Capt(U) Hashim relating his story that he saw Sgt(U) Stephen was the last to emerged to surface of the water thinking that he was already drowned.
I went back home, to have lunch with my wife, as was about to seat down at the dining table, I noticed my friend's pet 'The fish' had died in its small aquarium. It was a surprised and unbelievable. While having lunch, my wife told me she heard and saw the fish was struggling for something and died after that, and it happened at about 1100hrs. I stretched and lean my back against the chair, at the same moment telling her about the crash and while at the dining table...I fell asleep for a couple of minutes or so and maybe I was too tired and my mind seemed to wander beyond the unexplained....
About two weeks later, my neighbour came back from leave, and I handed over his emptied fish aquarium and apologetically told him the whole story. He smiled and tapped my shoulder and said "You are very lucky to be alive". He then told me his story's version of 'the fish' or 'ikan puyu' which suppose to bring good luck to anyone who kept it. I smiled at him as he walked away....and maybe someone would believed to such an unpredictable story.