Lost hikers found safe after three-hour ordeal on Bukit Maras

KUALA NERUS: Four hikers who were lost while climbing Bukit Maras here were rescued this afternoon.

The group of cousins aged between 21 to 28 years old from Kota Bharu, Kelantan, was safely brought down to the foothill at 5.30pm after being lost for nearly three hours.

Kuala Terengganu district police chief, Assistant Commissioner Azli Mohd Noor, said they received an emergency call from one of the victims around 12.40pm.

"The rescue team immediately moved to the incident location for a search and rescue mission upon receiving the call," he said.

Azli said early information indicated that the four victims, two males and two females, began their hike at 6.50am and reached the peak two hours later.

"The victims reported they became lost after encountering a fallen tree blocking the trail and not finding a signboard when attempting to descend from the peak at noon," he added.

"A search operation involving 26 personnel from the police, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force (APM), and local villagers commenced at 1pm," he said.

"Rescue teams detected a phone signal at 1.30pm, which led to locating all victims by 2.30pm, five kilometers away from Bukit Maras' water tank.

"All victims were found safe but fatigued, and were transported down using four-wheel-drive vehicles, arriving at the foothill by 5.30pm," he continued.

Meanwhile, one of the victims, Shahrul Amin Nozi, 21, recounted that he and his three cousins began their hike at 6.50am before becoming lost.

"This was our first experience climbing Bukit Maras due to its scenic beauty, and we did not expect to get lost.

"Alhamdulillah, we are thankful that people came to rescue us.

This incident hasn't discouraged us; rather, it's a lesson for us to be more cautious," he said.

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