Triple drowning an accident, safety protocols followed

BRANDON JOHN

KOTA KINABALU: The tragic drowning of three secondary students from SMK Putatan at a resort in Membakut this morning was an accident.

Sabah Education director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul said the unfortunate incident occurred despite the fact that all safety protocols had been followed.

“SMK Putatan had taken all measures to ensure the safety of the programme’s participants, and had in fact obtained approval from the Education Ministry for the programme,” she said, adding that the safety examination of the camping area was part of the requirements for approval.

The waterways where the victims drowned, however, were not part of the programme’s intended route.

“It is understood that the victims slipped into the waterway, and could not be saved in time.

“This tragedy can sometimes occur without warning even when all safety protocols were met. Still, (to improve things,) my advice to schools is to conduct more thorough examinations of the programme areas,” she added.

Victims Hafiz Hamizan Rahman and Daniel Norman, both 16, and Khuzaimi Zakaran, 17 were part of a camping programme organised by the school.

The camping excursion, which was to run from April 28 to April 30, involved 119 students and 30 teachers.