Wear life jackets for water activities, urged Tourism Minister

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew, advised all tourists to wear life jackets when participating in water-based activities such as swimming, snorkeling and diving.

“Wearing a life jacket at sea is necessary to avoid any misadventures. Taking safety measures is for your own good. Refrain from taking risks, even if you are adept at swimming,” she stated in a release.

Liew issued this advice following a drowning incident involving a 51-year-old Chinese tourist who reportedly drowned in shallow waters between Sapi Island and Gaya Island on Friday.

“Our islands are popular holiday destinations for both locals and tourists alike. This unfortunate incident at Beach A on Sapi Island is heart-wrenching and regrettable.

“We cannot afford to have holidays ending in tragedies like this, as it could hurt Sabah’s tourism industry,” she added.

Director of Sabah Parks, Dr Maklarin Lakim, informed the minister that there were approximately 400 visitors and tourists on the island at the time of the incident.

Sabah Parks, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Environment, may study whether there is a need to increase the number of lifeguards on Sabah’s islands patronized by locals and tourists.

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