Wednesday June 20, 2012
Engineer: No official came to help
By ZALINAH NOORDIN and NURUL FAZRIN BASARUDIN
GEORGE TOWN: Engineer Kangeyan Ramachandran has claimed that no official came to his aid after he was injured in the latest parasailing mishap along the tourism belt of Batu Ferringhi.
Kangeyan, 51, who was admitted to a private hospital after a paraglider landed on him during a team-building activity at the beachfront of Hard Rock Hotel on Monday, said there was a lack of emergency measures taken after the incident.
“I was left there for about 10 minutes before I received any form of aid from an official. I even faintly recall the beach sports operator telling my colleagues to move me out of the way because there were other customers around,” the manufacturing engineer said from his hospital bed here yesterday.
Kangeyan, who said he would be meeting his lawyer soon, added that his colleagues were also angered by the lack of compassion from the operator and its staff.
“We have lodged a police report and given our statements to a council officer,” he added.
Recalling the incident, Kangeyan, who sustained double neck fractures, said he had been cheering on his colleagues during the team-building activity when he was suddenly hit on the back, causing him to pass out.
“I was later told that a female paraglider had slammed right into me while attempting to land. She also knocked into seven of my colleagues and injured them,” he said.
He said he had discussed with his colleagues and they held the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP), the beach sports operator and the company, which organised the team-building activity, responsible.
The mishap occurred despite the state government's move to have designated parasailing landing zones on the beach, which had been enforced by the local authorities since September last year.
MPPP Recreation, Tourism and International Affairs Department director Mohamed Akbar Mustapha said there would be an inquiry.
The board members, he said, would be from the police, marine police, hotel association, beach and water sports operators, and Civil Defence Department.
“We are very strict when it comes to licensing such risky activities, so we will thoroughly look into the incident. We will try to determine if negligence had been the cause and look into claims that enforcement on the Batu Ferringhi beaches is still lacking,” he said.
Mohamed Akbar said if the inquiry showed that guidelines had not been complied with, the operator's licence could be revoked.