|Parasailing ban on Penang beaches|
GEORGE TOWN: All water scooter and parasailing activities in Penang have been banned with immediate effect.
The clampdown came about following a spate of accidents where a number of tourists were injured during such activities along the Batu Ferringhi-Tanjung Bungah tourism belt.
In announcing the ban Tuesday, the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) told all water sports operators to abide by the directive at once.
“Action will be taken against those who defy the ruling,” according to a council notice which was distributed to the water sports operators on Tuesday evening.
It is learnt that a group of MPPP enforcement officers went around handing out the notices to the operators along the beach front at about 5pm.
An MPPP officer said the order was a temporary measure until state Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow and MPPP president Patahiyah Ismail returned from overseas next week.
“More detailed guidelines and measures will be discussed by then.
“The ban is being put in place following numerous accidents and complaints by tourists as well as hoteliers,” she added.
On Sunday, Chow was reported to have said that water scooter operators had encroached into swimming zones in Batu Ferringhi after dismantling sea buoys used to designate these zones.
He had also said the Penang Municipal Council might have to revoke the licences of these operators who had encroached onto the beach.
Several accidents took place during the Hari Raya season including one that involved a Form Four student being hit by a water scooter while playing in the water.
A 40-year-old woman suffered lacerations on her neck and arm after she got entangled in the rope of a parasail.
Although horse and quad bike activities have been banned on the beach since January, water scooters and para sailing are allowed within the demarcated zones.
On June 7, a five-year-old girl was injured after being hit by a horse ridden by a man who was fleeing from council officers on the beach at Batu Ferringhi. - theStarOnline