‘They will be arrested, If they insist on getting into the water’

“If the tourists are not heeding the advice and caution given by the police and the community guards we might even take them into custody,” Commissioner of Police J Purnachandra Rao said.

With an aim to ensure that there are no fatalities by drowning off the city beaches, the city police, in association with the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), is deploying six trained Community Guards each on RK Beach, Yarada Beach and Rushikonda Beach, he said. The city police allotted the 18 Community Guards drawn from fishermen community to the GVMC for being deployed on the beaches for the safety of the visitors.

These personnel are being trained by the Coast Guard in search, rescue, resuscitation and first aid, the Police Commissioner told the media.

The Police Commissioner along with GVMC Commissioner M.V. Satyanarayana and Commandant Coast Guard A.K.S. Srimannarayana launched the training programme for the Community Guards being deployed at the Rushikonda Beach. In view of the recent death by drowning of six GITAM engineering students at Rushikonda, the city police sought the help of the GVMC and the Municipal Commissioner immediately decided to hire expert swimmers and deploy them on the beaches, the city police chief said.

The Community Guards will be deployed in shifts on the beaches, with two in the morning shift from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and four in the second shift from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. They along with police personnel deployed on the beaches will be responsible to caution, warn and stop the visitors from entering the sea in dangerous places. The police are also proposing to set up more watch towers on the three important beaches, he added.

“Even though we are expert swimmers we wear lifeguards when we enter water. We should not be feel shy or fashion conscious especially when it concerns our own safety,” the Coast Guard Commandant said.

He supervised the training of the Community Guards in various aspects of rescue operations being conducted by Navy diver and medical aid specialist.

Rushikonda IT Park Association president P. Vishnu Kumar Raju and CEO of Symbiosys Technologies O. Naresh Kumar offered to bear the cost of installing hoardings at the Rushikona Beach while the GITAM University representative shied away from giving any commitment on the university participation in the programme for safety of visitors to the beach.

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