Saturday, August 22, 2009

Safety rules for jungle trekkers and mountaineers

Adventure seekers should inform the authorities before venturing into the mountains and jungles for their own good.

Tourism and Environment executive councillor Freddie Long said that this is for the safety of trekkers and campers.

"The group should register with the local authorities, either the police, district office or Forestry Department offices," he said.

Long said foreign adventurers should seriously consider hiring local guides who are more familiar with the rugged local terrain.

On Wednesday, nine Singaporean youths, aged 18 to 29, hiked up Gunung Panti Barat and lost their way coming down.

A team of 36 rescuers from the Fire and Rescue Department and Kota Tinggi police, experienced local trekkers, and a helicopter were sent to rescue them.

After six hours, the youths, who suffered exhaustion, were rescued and taken to Batu Ampat police station near Kota Tinggi for documentation purposes.

"Arrangements can even be made through the Johor Tourism Action Council," said Long.

"The council can advise them on their needs and even recommend extra safety measures." He said the jungle terrain could be dangerous, and for untrained persons, the surroundings would look the same.

"This explains why jungle trekkers can lose their way in the jungle," he said.

"So we cannot stress enough the importance of hiring local professional guides who know the terrain well," he added.

These guides can be contacted through the local authorities and the websites.

"An outing like this (mountain climbing and jungle trekking) should not be done in a hurry," he said.

"Everything needs to be planned carefully and safety rules should not be treated lightly." Three years ago, a Singaporean, Wong May Chen @ Dolly, 18, died at Gunung Panti reserve forest when she slipped into the river on a trek with friends.

The adventurers, aged 15 to 22, also did not register with the authorities when they went trekking into the forest reserve.

Source Citation:"Safety rules for jungle trekkers and mountaineers." Asia Africa Intelligence Wire (May 17, 2004): NA. Popular Magazines. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 22 Aug. 2009

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