Keep an eye on rivers and beaches

Mind your safety: Families enjoying a cool dip in a stream at Kampung Sungai Kemensah, Ulu Klang.— AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Fire and Rescue Department will be keeping a close watch on rivers and coastal areas during the ongoing school holidays.

Its acting director Mohd Rizal Buang said the department was focusing on beaches, rivers and waterfalls as there are more visitors to these spots during the holiday period.

“Parents will want to take their children to to the beach or waterfalls during the holidays. However, they should always be cautious and vigilant especially when they bring along small children to avoid untoward incidents such as drowning,” he said yesterday.

Mohd Rizal said the department would focus on the eastern Johor area as it was a popular destination among local and foreign tourists.

He advised parents to remind their children not to go to such areas with their friends without adult supervision.

“Beaches in places like Desaru and Sedili are very popular and there will be many visitors.

“Even though it is now the Southwest monsoon with the weather hot and humid, there are still sudden downpours. A change in weather pattern can cause strong undercurrents and water surges at rivers and waterfalls.

“No matter how good the person is at swimming, they should not take things for granted,” he cautioned.

Mohd Rizal said so far this year, the department received nine emergency calls involving drowning, with nine fatalities.

He said most of the drownings occurred at rivers and beaches.

He also advised those planning outdoor activities with their families to first check weather reports from the Malaysian Meteorological Department.

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