The ‘fatal’ attraction of the waves and the sea surf make revellers throw all caution to the wind as they play on the beaches.
Youths and even families were seen playing with the waves even as a boat belonging to the Marine Police and a chopper belonging to the Navy continued to search for two boys, who were feared drowned, at the R.K. Beach here on Saturday.
The recurring drowning deaths at various beaches in the city, the ‘warning boards’, and reports by scientists of the presence of dangerous rip currents at most of the beaches in Visakhapatnam do not seem to have the desired effect on revellers.
The presence of rip currents was highlighted in these columns as also in other newspapers and TV channels on quite a few occasions in the past.
Not only tourists from landlocked States but also local visitors find the temptation of the sea water irresistible. Those who do not know swimming start off with standing close to the shore but as the revelry continues, they walk into knee-deep and waist-deep water unmindful of the lurking danger. Ironically, sometimes even parents encourage their children to play with the waves.
After the death of students at Yarada Beach and at Rushikonda last year, the district administration, the police, and other departments got together and posted swimmers at the beaches. But, there is little that the police or the district administration can do to check the incidence of drowning when people fail to heed to warning boards as it would be virtually impossible to keep a watch on the entire stretch.
“We need to have watch towers, public address systems with connectivity to different beaches, equipment like binoculars, safety jackets, life boats, First Aid kits, wireless sets, medical teams, and ambulances to ensure safety of beach goers,” feels Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) V. Suresh Babu. While no one can deny tourists and revellers their right to having fun on the beach, it is in their own interest that they should heed warning boards and avoid getting into knee deep and waist deep water and risk their lives.
“There are rocks along the coast and the waves, while receding, change their course and pull anyone standing on them with great force resulting in drowning of revellers. Rip currents have been identified at most of the beaches in the Visakhapatnam and it would be humanly impossible for anyone to keep a constant watch on the long coastline,” feel the police.
Revellers, think twice before taking the plunge.