We work together: Guides
Published on: Monday, June 15, 2015

Kundasang: "We work together. I really respect them. We, the mountain guides, are also thankful to them for allowing us to use their equipment."We were able to save 137 climbers who were stranded on Mount Kinabalu," said a mountain guide at Mount Kinabalu on the rescue agencies and teams involved in the search and rescue mission following the earthquake which hit Sabah last June 5.

Lawrence Gopog, 43, said agencies like the Fire and Rescue Department, the Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Armed Forces and several other agencies assisted the mountain guides in the SAR mission.

"The agencies have the necessary equipment, but they also need our assistance because we know better the ins and outs of the mountain.

"The personnel from the rescue agencies and teams are experts in rescue operations, but they may not know the mountain well, still they helped.

"We go up the mountain every week, and that is one of our training to keep fit, as well as to better understand the mountain," he said when met here.

He said all efforts were made to bring down climbers who were stranded on the mountain.

Gopog, a former soldier from Kampung Bundu Tuhan, was among the early mountain guides who gathered at Timpohon gate to join in the SAR mission for those stranded on Mount Kinabalu after the earthquake.

The earthquake, measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale which shook Sabah last June 5 claimed 18 lives, comprising nine Singaporeans, six Malaysians, a Japanese national, a Chinese national and a Filipino with Singapore permanent resident status.

Gopog also thanked the government for the promise of 100 units of walkie-talkie to mountain guides at Mount Kinabalu as announced by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

"It will make communication among us better and faster," he said.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Nius, 21, whose photo of him saving a student of Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) in the earthquake had gone viral on the social websites, clarified that he was not a mountain guide, but a worker at Laban Rata, Gunung Kinabalu.

He said he was running for safety with other workers during the chaotic situation on the morning of the earthquake incident when he saw the girl, Hana Kim Santiago.

"Her leg was seriously injured. I bandage it and then carried her on my back to go down the mountain and hoping then that we would all be safe," he added.


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