The tragedy that happened in Penang yesterday, where a dragon boat on training capsized, could have been averted if people are more safety conscious.
It was reported that of whose were drown and or reported missing, only 1 was wearing a life jacket.
From the view of safety precaution, an open sea is a dangerous hazard, no matter how calm the sea may look.
So applying the principle of safety, it would be best to avoid the hazards; but in this case, since the rowers were taking part in a competition, training in an open sea is a necessity , so they would have no choice but to face this hazard.
But they could have chosen an area where the seas were calmer, to lessen the risk of this hazard.. It was reported that normally trainings were conducted in the calmer areas in Tanjung Bungah or Batu ferringhi, but this group chose to do it in a rougher sea. Any training of this sort must be accompanied by safety rescue boats with powerful motor and trained life gurads, but apparently this was not the case.
Then again, if all wore life jackets, it would have at least provided more buoyancy to the person wearing it, and being brightly coloured, life jackets would be more eye catching and easily for rescuers to see them.
I have swam in open seas before , and if a person goes 2 feet below the surface of sea level, you will never be able to see him clearly even if from a distance of a few feet.
So, never underestimate the power of the sea.
There is a Chinese saying that ” you can bully the hills, but never the water”, meaning that it would be safer to climb hills than go out in the seas or even playing in the river.
This is yet another case where safety measures as well as procedures were not adopted. This came hardly a few weeks after the explosion of a new mall in Malacca, where safety procedures were again ignored resulting in a huge explosion.
Just a few minutes of observing safety procedures would have saved the lives of so many people,. What a waste !