Tourists assured canyoneering in Kawasan safe
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Association of Kawasan Canyoneering Operators of Badian (AKCOB) assured the public that the extreme sports adventures they offer in Badian town, Cebu, are safe.
AKCOB made the assurance amid the March 29 incident involving a Korean national, who died after swimming in the Kawasan Falls in Badian, a town 97.6 km southwest of Cebu City.
AKCOB, which is made up of 37 operators approved by the local government unit (LGU) of Badian, released a statement on Saturday, March 30, affirming the 31-year-old Lee Jong Hyuk’s death and clarifying that the death occurred after he swam to the riverbanks.
In an earlier statement, Patrolwoman Odoname Saycon of the Badian Police Station said that the tourist did not drown but was able to swim to dry land after jumping from a 45-foot high ledge into the water.
Upon reaching dry land, Lee reportedly had difficulty breathing so he was rushed to the Badian District Hospital.
He was already dead before he could reach the medical facility.
“In relation to this incident, the Association of Kawasan Canyoneering Operator of Badian (AKCOB) would like to express its sympathy to Lee’s family for his untimely passing,” AKCOB said in a statement.
AKCOB said they had almost 100 accredited guides who were trained for basic life support and basic first aid from the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management (PDRRMO) and Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7).
“AKCOB assures everyone that Kawasan Falls remains to be a safe tourist destination in southern Cebu,” they said on their statement.
The group also said that they would continue to implement safety measures like the mandatory use of life vest and protective helmet in Kawasan Falls and canyoneering activity in Badian.
Lifeguards are also deployed in Kawasan Falls to monitor the tourists.
AKCOB clarified that the contact operator of Lee was not a member of their organization.
“We would also like to remind tourists visiting Kawasan Falls to coordinate only with accredited operators,” AKCOB said.
Read more: DOT-7: 5.5M tourists visited Cebu in 2018
Kawasan Falls is a popular tourist destination in Southern Cebu located in Barangay Matutinao in Badian town.
The tourist spot is commonly visited by Korean nationals, who are the top foreign visitors of Cebu making up at least 50.05 percent of the tourist population in 2018 according to the data of the Department of Tourism. /dbs
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