Monday, November 14, 2011

Ferry Reverse Its Propellers, Killing, Injuring Japanese Couple in Borneo

Reiko Tanaka, 59, was tragically killed while her husband was injured after a double-deck ferry unknowingly reversed its engines and backed into the couple at a resort in Borneo yesterday while the couple was kayaking. Reiko's husband, 67, suffered a fractured leg during the accident.

COMMENT: Local police are taking statements from the ferry operator and witnesses and will make a determination of any negligence involved and make arrests accordingly if necessary. Mrs. Tanaka's body will be subject to an autopsy while her husband recovers in a local hospital.

Unfortunately, travelers approaching their retirement years must be cautious and careful as they age, largely because their flexibility, agility and ability to react quickly changes as they age. Several weeks ago, for example, I drew attention to the large number of accidental deaths that have been occurring in the Austrian Alps, particularly among aging travelers who hike and mountain climb. Often, our hearts convince us that we're in our prime, but our bodies often don't respond as we would like them to.

I have done a considerable amount of kayaking over the years and have learned to know my limitations as I age, particularly in close proximity to motorized vessels. Hence, if we are going to kayak or engage in other active sports, we must be ever vigilant so as to not put ourselves at risk.

Borneo, which is divided among three countries (Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei) is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia. Approximately 73% of the island is controlled by Indonesia, 26% by the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak in the north, and 1% by Brunei on the northern coast.

Older than the Amazon rainforest, Borneo is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world (however the Daintree Rainforest in Australia is older).

Borneo's highest point is Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, with an elevation of 4,095 meters (13,435 feet) above sea level.

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