DROWNING CASES IN MALAYSIA
THE chances of drowning in a water mishap are far greater than the death rate in road accidents and fires. Statistics from the Fire and Rescue Department revealed this grim reality, where there were 195 drownings, or 82 per cent death rate, in 238 water mishap cases between January and July. That figure exceeded the 77 deaths (13 per cent) in 603 road accidents and the 53 deaths (0.2 per cent) in 23,331 fires recorded during the same period.
BEATRICE NITA JAY examines these stark figures in the aftermath of the Oct 3 tragedy, in which six divers from the Fire and Rescue Department’s Water Rescue Unit drowned during a search-and-rescue operation at a mining pool in Puchong, Selangor.
The incident raised many questions despite the divers adhering to standard operating procedures (SOP) for surface water rescues.
Fire and Rescue Department director-general Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said an intensive review of the SOP was being carried out, and efforts to improve tactical strategies would be implemented to prevent such a tragedy from recurring.