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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nanga Gaat :44 years later

On 12 April 1965 when returning form a troop lift and in formation prior to landing, two Wessex 1s piloted by Lieutenant R Robertson RN and Sub Lieutenant J C Hapgood RN collided and both aircraft plunged out of control into the river. Both pilots were killed as well as NAM A Rothwell, who was the Aircrewman in Hapgood’s Wessex, 2nd Lieutenant C J Johnson, Sgt P McNeilly, L/Cpl W H Murray, and Pte R G Green from 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment and L/Cpl W J Jack from the Royal Army Medical Corps. Only three survived, the Petty Officer Crispin who was the Aircrewman from Robertson’s aircraft and two men from the Parachute Regiment. Crispin had a miraculous escape as he was flung out of the rear cabin door on his dispatcher harness, but was quick enough to release himself and fall into the river sustaining only relatively minor injuries.


44 years latter, parts of the wreckage could still be seen.


Eventhough the accident happens more than 4 decades ago, the serial numbers are still read able.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Nanga Gaat :Wessex Helicopters

Picture on the left shows Nanga Gaat of the 1965 and on the right that of 1995. In the early days of Malaysia, this site, where Sungei Gaat meets Sungei Balleh was the base for Wessex Helicopters.

Present day, it was utilized as a log pond for a logging company. Not much change for the landscape.


As part of Britain’s response during the Confrontation with Indonesia, HMS Albion deployed to the region with Royal Marines and 845 and 846 Naval Air Squadron embarked. 845 NAS deployed to Sibu in Sarawak and also established a forward operating base at Nanga Gaat in November 1963. Detachments from 845 NAS served at Nanga Gaat from 1 November 1963 until 23 June 1965 and 848 NAS from 23 May 1965 to 15 September 1965. HMS Albion arrived in the area in November 1962, handed over to HMS Bulwark in February 1964, but returned later in 1965.

Initially, 845 NACS had four Wessex mark 1's and a Whirlwind 7, based at the Gaat, with six pilots and some twenty ground crew. In June 65 when 845 NACS was relieved by 848 NACS, from HMS Albion, the Wessex mark 1 was replaced with Wessex mark 5. This was a blessing as the Mark 1 had a single engine and the Mark 5 a double engine.

There was of course the unfortunate incident of the mid air collision over the Gaat.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nanga Gaat: Memorial


Nanga Gaat memorial was build on a site overlooking Sg. Gaat and Sg.Balleh
It was erected as a form of memorial to those British Security Forces who had died at Nanga Gaat (referring to the men of 845 NAS).
The Nanga Gaat Memorial was completed and a dedication ceremony was held in mid June of 1965.


During operations in March and April 1965, there were three serious fatal accidents.

On 4 March 1965 while carrying troops of the Royal Malay Regiment, Lieutenant M R Thompson RN had an engine failure in Wessex 1 XP108 and crashed at Ulu Sungai Puro, not far from Nanga Gaat, resulting in the death of six men from the regiment and his Aircrewman, REA A J Williams.

On 9 April 1965 Lieutenant J A C Morgan RN, piloting a Hiller 12E XS164 used for liaison duties, was killed shortly after take off when his aircraft went out of control and crashed as result of losing the tail rotor to severe vibration. The tail rotor had been damaged in a previous incident and Lt Morgan had tried to make an ad hoc repair as getting a replacement in such a remote area would have taken considerable time. Apparently the first incident shaved off an inch or two from the tip of one of the tail rotor blades. In a bid to rebalance it, Lt Morgan cut off a similar amount from the other blade. Unfortunately he killed himself as a result.

On 12 April 1965 when returning form a troop lift and in formation prior to landing, two Wessex 1s piloted by Lieutenant R Robertson RN and Sub Lieutenant J C Hapgood RN collided and both aircraft plunged out of control into the river. Both pilots were killed as well as NAM A Rothwell, who was the Aircrewman in Hapgood’s Wessex, 2nd Lieutenant C J Johnson, Sgt P McNeilly, L/Cpl W H Murray, and Pte R G Green from 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment and L/Cpl W J Jack from the Royal Army Medical Corps. Only three survived, the Petty Officer Crispin who was the Aircrewman from Robertson’s aircraft and two men from the Parachute Regiment. Crispin had a miraculous escape as he was flung out of the rear cabin door on his dispatcher harness, but was quick enough to release himself and fall into the river sustaining only relatively minor injuries.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rh.Sinau :Solar Power

Rh. Sinau is situated at Ng.Sebilat,Sg.Gaat. It's a 3o door long house. It's those few long houses that have Solar Panels for supplying electric.

Power produced is not that great, but enought for lighting , tv and ordinary house hold appliances. In rainy days like this, it's only good for lighting only.

This is the solar panel that is used for harnessing the sun's power. Solar power for Rh.Sinau was completed in 13 february 2000.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ng. Sebilat


This concrete path leads to Rh.Sinau of Ng.Sebilat. The drains beside the foot path really catches my eyes. It's really an innovative way of utilizing materials that are found locally. River stones are easily found in Sungei Gaat, ie during the dry season.
By lining the drains with stones, erosion was prevented. Not only that, the foot path will be less slippery when it rains.

Rh.Sinau is situated on a high level. On the right of the pic, a cement foot path was once constructed but now it was broken due to the great flood of December 2007.
A wooden ladder was latter constructed (middle of the pic) so that the inhibants of this long house could have access to their boats (which is the only mean of transportation).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Out


A journey to Sungei Gaat, Kapit. This is my first trip out in 2009 and there are plenty to venture inside the Discomfort Zone. It was my dream of venturing deep into the zone and visiting as much as possible the localities inside. There are almost 400 villages dwelled by various ethnic groups with Iban being the majority.

The river looks calm but the temperature was a bit cold. It was raining for days but only lightly. There was a believe that the rainy season will cease after Chinese New Year.

During the journey like this, every now and then, the call of nature have to be answered. To have a pit stop will have valueable seconds wasted. We have to race against time so that we could reach our destination dry.

As always, mother nature always have the last say. During our 3 hour plus journey we were greeted by rain and more rain. We were lucky that it did not pour.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I have been Tagged

I got this pic from your blog, sorry for not asking prior permission for the usage. As promised, here i listed some random facts about me. Any way it was my reply to teacher Maurine and i reproduce it here. Actually i do not have any interesting facts about me to share with.

Chronology of Random Events about Buwau98 that you should know.

1) 1990: Use the PC for the very first time, it was office one.

2) 1992: Bought my first PC. It was a 286 machine with 40 MB HDD, 2 MB of RAM and come
with a 3.5 inch floppy disk drive.

3) 1995: Bought a US Robotic modem having a speed of 6BPS so as to have an internet access.

4) 1998: This was the year that i first chat with ICQ as my playground.

5) 2000: My PC was badly attacked by viruses and i was forced to retire prematurely from the world of WWW dot com.

6) 2007 (October): I was ordered to leave my Comfort Zone to the place that i should have visited 3 decades ago, which also happens to be the only division that i haven't set my foot on.

7) 2007 (November): Create the Discomfort Zone, which is my first cyber project.

8) 2008 (Jun):I was tagged for the first time and it was by Teacher Maurine.

9)2009 (Jan): I was tagged again and this time by my life is my choice

Many thanks for the tag.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Courting Danger


Late December 2007, it rains heavily for a few days. Many low lying areas were flooded. This hill slope dwellings were not spared from danger either. One night after christmas a land slide occured. The death toll was numbered at 4.


One year latter, this is how the disaster area looks like. Most of the 'scar' is covered with grass and scrubs. Seems that nothing has happened here before.


Few houses were still standing even the foundation doesn't looks stable. Only houses that are badly damaged are dismantled, and the rubble cleared.


One year latter, seems that there was never any human tragedy took place here. Life goes on as usual and people still dwell those houses that were not dismantle. Danger still lurks and it comes to one thing, is human life so cheap that visible danger are taken so lightly?

Rain

Since Friday night, it has been raining non stop.


Most of the day, its raining moderately but non stop.


Towards the night, rain gains momentum.


And it gets heavier and rains the whole of Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tattoo


In the good old days, the male members of the Iban community have tattoo carved on their skin. Usually those designs have their special meanings.


Modern days the tattoo are more like paintings. The designs shows the desire and fantasy of the owner.



Tattoo of the older generation are simple design . Mostly it shows the iban culture and to some extend it is about the environment where he lives.


The tattoo is done using the traditional method and done manually.

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