Four hikers stranded on Gunung Panti found safe


KOTA TINGGI: Four Pasir Gudang Giat Mara students who were reported missing on Friday while hiking at Hutan Lipur Gunung Panti, here have been found safe.

The students, who were lost for nearly 20 hours, claimed they have misread the path and ended up following a route used by dirtbikes.

Muhammad Nazhan Azhar, 19, said that for the climb which began around 9am, he and his friends only came prepared with a bottle of water each as they were informed that it would only take them an hour to reach the peak of Gunung Panti.

“Realising that we were lost, we decided to follow the river until finding a bridge which was a route leading to an old logging area, and slept there, drinking only river water," he told reporters after being rescued by the search and rescue operation (SAR) team, here today.

“We also tried to contact the police but our mobile phones did not detect any signal," Muhammad Nazhan said.

Another hiker, Muhamad Firdaus Zainal, 18, said he had felt uneasy from the start of the trip but chose to ignore the feeling. He said they walked until a certain spot in the forest but lost track of their earlier route.

“Having lost our way, we decided to turn back, with the hope to find the earlier route,” Muhamad Firdaus, who was not a stranger to climbing activities, said.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Zariqh Iedeed Mustafa, 20, said it was quite an experience having to take turns sleeping in the dark jungle to keep safe.

The SAR team located all of the victims at 11.55am, around 700 metres from the temporary SAR checkpoint and were reported to be in safe condition.

Kota Tinggi police chief Supt Rahmat Othman advised trekkers who wish to climb the mountain to register first with the Forestry Department and police.

"This is to ensure the safety of the climbers and that their every movement will be monitored. Failure to inform the authorities will pose as troublesome should there is untoward incident," he said.-- BERNAMA