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  Today Online 23 Jun 07
Seletar Reservoir kayak rental open to public again
Ansley Ng

THE public can resume renting kayaks at the Lower Seletar Reservoir this weekend, a month after a man drowned while kayaking there.

In a joint statement on Friday, the People's Association (PA) and the Public Utilities Board (PUB) said they have reviewed operating and safety procedures at Water- Venture a water sports outlets managed by the PA and found them to be "adequate".

But they have introduced several new safety precautions, including red out-of-bound zone markers, more prominent signs spelling out safety procedures and advisories, as well as periodic powerboat patrols at all seven Water-Venture outlets.

In addition, a sign with the demarcated map and a Safety First reminder has been placed at Lower Seletar Reservoir.

"Users are reminded to wear life vests at all times when kayaking and to kayak within the designated areas," the statement said. "When the safety procedures are followed, kayaking is a safe sport."

On May 27, Mr Mohammed Burhan Khoka, a 34-year-old quality assurance inspector, drowned after the kayak he was sharing with his wife capsized. His life vest was found floating in the reservoir that day; his body was discovered a day later.

The incident, which happened just two weeks after the outlet opened on May 13, was the first at a reservoir since activities such as kayaking and dragon boating were introduced at these locations in 2004.

"The Lower Seletar Reservoir outlet only ceased its kayak rentals to the public. Organised groups and courses continued with their regular kayaking and dragon-boat activities and training," a PA spokeswoman told Today.

The other Water-Venture outlets are located at East Coast, Changi, Kallang, Pasir Ris, Bedok Reservoir and Jurong Lake.

At least 12 people have drowned since January and some 3,300 lives have been lost in water-related mishaps here since 1960.

The National Water Safety Council recently announced plans to review legislation and building standards for swimming pools and water bodies.


Second body found near man who drowned in kayak accident
Channel NewsAsia 28 May 07

Man missing after kayak accident at Lower Seletar
By K.C. Vijayan Straits Times 28 May 07

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