KUCHING: It was going to be just another day for brothers Harudis and Nerius Busan, but what happened on May 28 last year changed the course of their lives.
They were among three men who rescued over 100 people when an express boat sank in a fast-flowing river in Belaga district that day.
For their heroism, Harudis, 47, and Nerius, 36, along with their co-worker Remy Legit, 32, were awarded the Pingat Perwira Negeri (Gangsa) medals by Yang di-Pertua Negri Sarawak Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud at Astana Negeri here.
They were among 122 recipients of awards at the investiture ceremony yesterday.
Harudis said the three of them worked for a timber company near Giam Bungan, the site where the heavily-laden Kawan Mas express boat capsized.
Two passengers drowned, while a pregnant woman went missing.
“When I saw the boat beginning to sink, I quickly informed my co-workers to help out,” Harudis said.
Using two motorboats, Harudis said they went out and rescued as many passengers as they could.
“Some were infants and children. It took us more than an hour to rescue them.
“It was tiring but we kept going,” he added.
The express boat was equipped to carry up to only 64 passengers but there were more than 200 on board that day.
Kawan Mas was on its way from Belaga town to Kapit when it developed an engine problem.
It then struck a boulder and sank. — Bernama