Operator not liable for parasailing accident in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: A watersport operator, who was summoned to appear before a board of inquiry into a parasailing mishap in Batu Ferringhi, was found not liable for the incident that injured two Jordanians.

The board, chaired by Dr R.R. Judy Shoba who is also the Penang Island City Council (MBPP)'s Envi­ronmental Health and Licensing director, said Mahendren Water­sport Enterprise had adhered to all safety requirements and standard operating procedures set by MBPP.

"We have concluded that the incident happened due to the non-adherence of instructions by the victims.

"It is understood that the operator had explained to the participants more than once and they had claimed that they understood the instructions.

"The weather was also fine as parasailing is not recommended during bad weather," she told reporters after the inquiry yesterday.

The board of inquiry, which involved the police, marine police, Marine Department, Penang Water Recreation Association, Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang Chapter and other government authorities, revealed its findings following a one-and-half hour meeting yesterday.

The two Jordanians, aged 42 and 51, injured their spines after falling some eight metres during the mishap at about 4.30pm on Monday.

They were rushed to a private hospital, where their condition was reported to be stable.

Dr Shoba said the mishap most likely happened due to the victims' failure to obey instructions while landing.

She said a reminder would be sent out to all watersport operators along the Batu Ferringhi tourist belt to remind them about the council's safety requirements and standard operating procedure.

Another parasailing accident was reported yesterday morning in Batu Ferringhi beach.

A source, who did not want to be named, said a Middle Eastern man in his 30s fell after his parasail hit a pole, which had been put up for CCTV installation.

"We believe that the participant had pulled the wrong rope during the landing, which resulted in the parasail tilting in the opposite direction.

"The parasail then caught on the pole placed on the beach and he fell on the sand," the source said.

He said the man suffered bruises and cuts on his hands and face, and received outpatient treatment at the clinic of a hotel here.