GEORGE TOWN - A water scooter frolic by a family turned tragic when a nine-year-old boy died during an outing in Batu Ferringhi.
Jordan Phang Wen Jie, who was riding pillion, was flung off the machine after it collided with the watercraft ridden by his mother Looi Ting Ching.
He died of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries due to the impact during the 7.45pm incident on Monday.
Apparently, the beach boy who was riding the water scooter with Jordan lost control of the machine due to sudden strong winds before the collision.
OCPD Asst Comm Anuar Omar said the family rushed the boy to a hotel and tried to resuscitate him.
“He was pronounced dead without regaining consciousness,” he said.
ACP Anuar said the family from Petaling Jaya was there on a holiday, having just checked into a beach resort.
There have been several watersports-related accidents over the last few years.
In November 2016, an Arab woman was injured after the water scooter she was riding collided with another scooter.
In February 2016, two Jordanians were admitted to a private hospital with serious spinal injuries after they fell 10m following a parasailing accident.
In October 2013, an Arab woman died after she plunged 10m into the sea while parasailing.
In the latest incident, both the police and Penang Island City Council are investigating.
Council mayor Yew Tung Seang said a board of inquiry would be set up to investigate the incident.
“Action will be taken if any element of negligence is found,” Yew said.
Penang deputy police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Roslee Chik said they would work closely with the council in the case.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the local authorities had been working towards creating a safer environment for recreational watersport over the years.
“Since the introduction of winch boats for parasailors last year, there has been no incident reported,” he told reporters at Komtar.
Meanwhile, a beach boy refused to comment about the incident.
“Two scooters have been grounded. Our business is affected,” he said when met by reporters at batu Ferringhi beach yesterday.