Manginapudi beach near Machilipatnam has become a deathtrap going by the rise in number of drowning deaths in recent years.
Police said eight visitors were feared drowned while a few dozens were rescued by some photographers here since the 2016 summer. The police restricted bathing at the beach for one year till 2015 summer, but they had to withdraw the plan later to attract tourists.
Fishermen suspect ‘rip current’ as the reason for the drowning deaths, but scientists with the National Institute of Oceanography say an oceanographic study is required to come to any conclusion. A scientific study on the features of the Manginapudi beach is yet to be taken up to conclude whether the beach is safe to venture into deep sea for bathing or not.
The police, revenue and fisheries authorities proposed to deploy swimmers following the death of three youth in May 2016.
However, no action has been taken by any of them, leaving the visitors in the lurch.
Tourism, police and revenue officials are involved in a blame game against one another in taking the initiative to deploy the swimmers and ensure better security measures.
“Deployment of swimmers to put a check on the drowning cases at the Manginapudi beach is not our affair but we have sufficient fund to spare for the initiative,” Vijayawada Sub-Collector (in charge) and District Tourism Officer M. Chakrapani told The Hindu over phone.
Bandar Revenue Divisional Officer P. Saibaba said the Fisheries Department had been directed to deploy the swimmers on the days where huge crowds were expected at the beach.
The Bandar Rural Police, who guard the beach, said fisheries or other departments did not provide support to improve the security measures.
The first phase of beautification of the beach, including ground levelling and approach road, had been completed, but it ignored measures to address the drowning problem.