PADANG BESAR, April 13 — Fourteen hikers from two local recreation clubs were rescued today after getting lost for over 24 hours in Gua Kelam Tiga here, since yesterday.
Padang Besar District Police chief Supt Saifudin Aslin Abbas said the hikers, 10 men and four women aged between 18 and 30, were found at the cave’s first pond and brought out safely at 2.30pm today.
“It is learnt that 11 of the hikers entered Gua Kelam Tiga at 11 am yesterday with a group of hikers from a polytechnic. However, they (11 hikers) chose a different route and were separated from the group from the polytechnic.
“At 10pm, three more hikers who were delivering food to their friends also lost their way in the cave,” he told reporters today, adding that police, who received a report at 6.50am today, identified their locations after getting in touch with one of the victims at 9.30am.
A search and rescue (SAR) operation was launched at 11am by 18 personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department, police and state Forestry Department as well as a cave guide.
Meanwhile, state Forestry director Awang Shaffie Awang Ahmadni, when contacted by Bernama, said an investigation paper would be opened under the National Forestry (Adoption) Enactment 1987 against the 14 hikers for entering the forest without permission.