Thursday June 21, 2012
Water sports operators to use whistle to warn beachgoers
WATER sports operators in Penang have pledged to find ways to improve beachgoers’ safety along the tourism belt of Batu Ferringhi including the use of whistle to signal when a paraglider is about to land.
Penang Water Recreation Association pro tem committee chairman Louis Lim said more than 100 beach boys under the association would discuss the matter in detail at a later date.
“We have strict policies as any members who fail to comply will be kicked out of the association,” said Lim, who was one of the members of the inquiry board comprising officials from the Penang Municipal Council, police, marine police, hotel association and water sports operators probing the recent parasailing mishap in Batu Ferringhi.
In the incident, eight people were injured, one seriously.
Manufacturing engineer Kangeyan Ramachandran, 51, was admitted to a private hospital with double neck fractures while his colleagues sustained bruises after the paraglider knocked into them.
The group on a company trip was taking part in a team-building activity along the beachfront of the Hard Rock Hotel when the mishap occurred at about 10am on Monday.
Council Urban Services, Public Health and Licensing Unit director Dr Judy Shoba said the inquiry held yesterday at the City Stadium in Lorong Kulit, George Town, found that no party should be held responsible for the parasailing mishap.
Dr Shoba said evidence adduced showed that the group of employees from a networking solution company were warned twice that they were in a sport designated zone prior to the accident.
“We were informed that the group was notified by a councillor and the water sports operator before the mishap.
“Though the operator involved was ordered to stop all activities temporarily following the incident, the order would be lifted tomorrow (today) to enable them to resume their operations,” she told a press conference here.
When asked on the possibility of banning water sports activities, Dr Judy said the policy was not under council jurisdiction.
Council Recreation, Tourism and International Affairs Department director Mohamed Akbar Mustapha said the council was strict when it comes to licensing such activities.
“We constantly organise various courses and workshops such as safety on watercraft and beachboys’ code of ethics,” he explained.
Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang chapter chairman Mary Ann Harris and a representative from the company declined to comment on the matter.
Hard Rock Hotel general manager John Primmer said they provided assistance to the injured individuals during the incident.
“Though the activities were organised by a third-party water sports operator, we immediately called the ambulance since it happened in front of the hotel.”
Currently, there are 20 MPPP enforcement officers to monitor the water sports operators along the Batu Ferringhi stretch, which are marked in eight zones.