BALIK PULAU: Swimming is now prohibited in Pantai Kerachut at the Penang National Park following the recent drowning incident.
Park superintendent Saat Yaakob said this was one of the preventive measures they had to take to stop another mishap from happening.
“All this while, swimming was allowed but not encouraged here. We have ample signages at the beach as well as other spots in the park to warn visitors,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters at the park’s office yesterday after meeting Teluk Bahang assemblyman Datuk Shah Headan Ayoob Hussain Shah and the relevant authorities.
A team-building event organised by Oriental Advertising last Saturday turned tragic when five of them were swept away by strong waves.
Three of them, P. Yogambigai, 24, Ashwanpaljit Singh Charnjit Singh, 23, and Ku Muhammad Ilyas Ku Abdul Halim, 19, were found dead while two others, Norhayati Nasrul, 22, and Nurain Nabilah Mokhtar, 21, survived.
Saat said during the incident, two rangers were on duty.
“We put up two red warning flags two years ago to warn visitors not to swim there.
“Now, we’ll put up more signages all over the park,” he said, adding that there were about 40 staff working at the park.
Meanwhile, Shah Headan, who is also on the park’s advisory board, said visitors to the park should seek a tour guide’s assistance.
“We haven’t decided on the fees yet, but we’ll study on the matter in detail. If visitors do not wish to use such services, they have to sign a waiver document,” he said.
Shah Headan said the sea in Pantai Kerachut was the most dangerous stretch in Penang as 2m after the beach, there would be a 5m plunge in depth and then another 10m.
In June 2012, Muaz Mohd Narawi, 16, from Johor, also drowned after he was swept away by strong currents during a camping trip at the same beach.