Water quality warnings have enthusiasts in a tizzy

Other News Materials 2 August 2008 05:24 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Water sports enthusiasts in Singapore are scrambling to find other venues after receiving advisories about unhealthy water quality at two of Singapore's most popular areas, news reports said Saturday.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has warned that the waters off Pasir Ris Beach and in the Marina Reservoir are unsafe for sports where total body immersion is likely, including swimming, waterskiing and wakeboarding.

High levels of bacteria normally found in the faeces of warm- blooded animals were detected in the areas. The bacteria could cause diarrhoea and conjunctivitis.

The loss of Marina Bay has hit water skiers and wakeboarders the hardest.

"It's a headache," The Straits Times quoted Henry Sim, secretary of the Singapore Canoe Federation, as saying.

Kayaking and canoeing require capsize tests, where athletes must swim back to shore with boats in tow.

The Singapore Waterski and Wakeboard Federation has about 50 enthusiasts attending its Marine Reservoir courses every weekend.

"We will ask if we can carry our canoes out to sea, across the pontoon on the marina," Sim told the newspaper.

He and representatives of other organizations plan to meet with officials on Wednesday.

Some individuals said they did not think the problem serious enough to curb activities such as wading.

"It's not that dangerous as long as nobody submerges in the water for too long," Isaac Loh, 25, was quoted as saying.

Anglers need not fear that their catches are contaminated. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority said the seafood is safe, but advised recreational fishermen to wash and cook their catches before consumption.