Yogyakarta's Oya River Tourist Site Off Limits After Deaths of Visitors
TEMPO.CO, Yogyakarta - The Oya River water tourism area in Imogiri District, Bantul, Yogyakarta was temporarily closed following two accidents on August 26 and 29, 2023, which killed two visitors due to drowning.
This tourist attraction is closed from August 30, 2023, until an undetermined date. However, other forms of tourism, such as culinary or camping activities, are still allowed in the area.
Imogiri Bantul District and related stakeholders, including the Bantul Regency Tourism Agency, the Search and Rescue (SAR) team, the sectoral police, and the local military command, agreed to shut down the tourist site for safety assessment.
“Whatever happens here is a shared responsibility, including the recent accident,” said District Head or Panewu of Imogiri Bantul Slamet Santosa, adding that it would be used as evaluation material to ensure safer tourism experiences.
The Yogyakarta SAR Agency’s head of operations for the Bantul District, Bondan Supriyanto, said that despite its serene surface, the river has several unpredictable whirlpools and undercurrents.
“There are whirlpools in parts of the Oya River based on the mitigation measures we carried out in 2017-2018,” Bondan said.
According to him, the presence of rocks or natural stones under the water creates cavities in the water underneath. Therefore, even if the surface appears calm, incautious visitors could be sucked in or hit by the water vortex.
During the closure of the water tourism area, all related parties are committed to improving, enhancing management capacity, addressing critical points, and installing more warning signs that are easy to read for visitors of Oya River, Yogyakarta.
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