NILAI: The Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) has identified six hot spots nationwide as high risk drowning areas this year, according to director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid.

He said they involved five river areas in Kedah, Perak and Sabah and one waterfall in Terengganu with 14 deaths recorded due to drowning as of last October.

‘’The rate of deaths due to drowning nationwide each year is three to four times to that of fire victims since 2018. Most of the drowning victims were school students and normally the victims were outsiders and not the local residents in the area,’’ he said, here today.

He was speaking to reporters after an accreditation ceremony for the 2019 Public University Student Volunteer Fire Officers at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) here, which was also attended by vice chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Ridza Wahiddin.

From 2016 to 2018, JBPM recorded 15 areas as high risk drowning areas involving five river areas in Sabah, Selangor and Kelantan, four waterfall areas in Selangor, Terengganu and Pahang, three beach areas in Kelantan and Penang and three lake, mine and dam areas in Selangor, with frequency of death by drowning at more than five victims.

In addition, 39 areas were identified as high risk drowning spots involving nine river areas in Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Sarawak and Terengganu, five waterfall areas in Terengganu, Selangor, Pahang and Perak, five lake, mine, dam and bridge areas in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak and Perak and 20 beach areas in Terengganu, Negri Sembilan, Sarawak, Kelantan, Perak, Sabah, Selangor and Pahang, for the period from 2016 to 2018.

They involved a frequency of drowning death incidents of less than five victims.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Hamdan said the leave of 80% of the overall 15,000 JBPM personnel had been frozen in preparation to face the north east monsoon which is expected to take place from this month until next month. - Bernama