Either on the 17th or 18th August 2012 not sure now as I want to forget that day. I with 2 children aged 9 and 12 boarded the Langkawi coral ship to go to the marine park Pulau pyaar using their floating platform. After a lot of research I decided that this was the best company and safest option even though it was more costly. We arrived to this heaven on earth place with calm waters, sun shinning. I was shocked at the number of people on the platform. Ages ranged from 3 to 70yr perhaps. There were many Chinese females alone with 2 or 3 children. Possibly 150-200 people.
Without any explanation or enquiry about safety, ocean currents, swimming ability safe parameter all were asked to pick life jackets stashed in corners, asked to wear them without explanation and told to go in the water with simple instruction. Lunch will be served at 1.30!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was the most wonderful experience with hundreds of fishes swimming around you nibbling at you feet it could not be better. But the coral was Dead! But that did not matter.
However, soon I realised that we were snorkling away from the boat pushed by this unseen current. I forgot about the fishes and pushed the kids to the platform. I was making little progress but full marks to the 12 yr old who saw my problems and helped her younger brother back after nearly struggling for 30 minutes. We did not venture into the water after that!!!!!! NO ONE WAS OVERLOOKING THE HUNDREDS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE WATER. ONE GUY WAS SITTING AT THE TOP Of THE PLATFORM FOR FIRST FEW MINUTES AND THEN DISAPPEARED? WE WERE ALL ON OUR OWN!!
Later swimming on the beach with little sharks was thrilling.
I opted out of scuba diving after the early experience when I realised the lack of supervision.
I am so glad I did that
Suddenly after lunch somebody shouted BODY IN THE WATER BODY IN THE WATER!!
There was utter panic on the platform no one knew what to do. Women started crying and the children looked shocked and scared. They then dragged out the body of a young Korean man 18-20 yrs old and started jumping on him. There was no first aid, no alarm, no water or air ambulance . We were on our own. It was clear that the man was dead. It is likely that he jumped of the platform into the water and no one noticed him getting into trouble like us and he then drowned. The wailing of his friends for their loss was unimaginable.
IT WAS A HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE
My comments are not put down the company but to warn others that go to these places but take extra caution. Clam waters few hundred yds from beach can still be trechrous and deceiving if you are not used the conditions keep your children close. Go out in pairs. Buy whistles yourself to attract attention and at no point float away from the platform.
Apparently the staff told me that 1 other accident took place on the same day and deaths have happened before.
I hope the company will take note and put safety befor money by limiting the numbers on a day increasing staff to customer ratio, better training and resuscitation facilities so that no more unnecessary loss of life takes place. I grieve for the family of that young man.
This has left a deep affect on my children that will take a long time to resolve.
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