Pack a whistle, hikers told after groups go missing

James Kon

Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) personnel responded to three separate incidents involving lost hikers recently.

Last Saturday, firefighters searched for nearly six hours around the Wong Tibadak Recreational Park at Labi, Belait District.

The search, led by ASO Haji Ghafar from the Operation ‘B’ Branch of the Labi Fire Station, was prompted by an emergency call received at 8.52pm, about 18 people who became lost while hiking in the park.

At 2.24am, the group emerged from the forest through Wasai Wong Kadir, with the assistance of six villagers and one police personnel.

“Apart from being shaken up by their ordeal, none of the hikers were injured,” the FRD said.

Firefighters with the lost hikers at the Tasek Lama Recreational Park. PHOTO: FRD

In the second incident last Sunday, four firefighters led by ASO Haji Abdul Aziz from the Operation ‘E’ Branch at the Bukit Beruang Fire Station were dispatched at 7.35pm, to look for two lost hikers in the forest near RPN Kampong Bukit Beruang, Tutong District.

The hikers – a man and a woman under 20 – were safely located almost two hours later at 9pm.

Yesterday, four firefighters led by ABK 670 Amir Hassan bin Haji Bidin from the Special Squad Unit under the Operation ‘C’ Branch of the Rimba Fire Station were deployed to the Tasek Lama Recreational Park at 10.18am for two lost hikers. Focussing their search on the area leading to Bukit Sarang Helang, the team finally found the two young men at 12.30pm, near the Jampiras Waterfall, about 3.3 km away from the car park. No injuries were reported.

The FRD has issued an advisory warning the public to be aware of the weather conditions and to not engage in hiking activities after 6pm. Hikers are advised not to go alone and to inform family members of their whereabouts. They are also encouraged to bring along a whistle, flashlight, mobile phone and water in case of an emergency.