To make St. Mary’s Island near Malpe in Udupi more attractive for tourists, cliff diving, scuba diving and slack lining activities were introduced from Saturday, for a month on a trial basis, said Udupi MLA K. Raghupathi Bhat.
Speaking to presspersons after inaugurating the activities at the island, Mr. Bhat said that flyboard water sports had been introduced at Malpe beach. In addition, yacht services will be introduced in a day or two.
The MLA said that all water sports already introduced and yacht service to be introduced will continue for a month. After assessing the response of tourists, they will be introduced on a permanent basis.
Mr. Bhat said that the administration is planning to promote the island as a destination for adventure and water sports activities. Cliff diving is a rare activity under which one has to dive into sea from 26 ft high.
According to Sudesh Shetty, leaseholder of Malpe Beach Development, the yacht service will have two packages. Under package 1, which will be a ‘joyride’ for 10 minutes, ₹2,000 will be charged per person upto four persons. Under package 2, which will be a ‘cruise’ ride for half an hour ₹35,000 will be charged for 14 persons. Snacks will be offered on board.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bhat inaugurated the free kayaking training for children at Malpe beach on Saturday. The training was introduced as part of on-going Malpe beach festival organised to celebrate the silver jubilee of the formation of Udupi district.
He also inaugurated the National Open Water Swimming Championship organised on the occasion. More than 150 swimmers are participating in the 7.5 k.m. long swimming championship. The three-day beach festival will conclude on Sunday.
Raghu Dixit will present a music programme on the beach at 6 p.m. on Sunday as part of the festival.
A dog show, a drawing competition, and a throwball competition for women have been organised in addition to the ongoing food festival, kite flying, swimming competition, photo exhibition and art camp.