Selfie deaths on beaches worry police in Vizag

All they can do is issue a cautionary note and put up a warning signboard

September 03, 2018 01:04 am | Updated 08:06 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Danger zone:  A file photo of a couple busy taking selfies on the rocks near VUDA Beach in Visakhapatnam.

Danger zone: A file photo of a couple busy taking selfies on the rocks near VUDA Beach in Visakhapatnam.

Just about a week ago, a first-year Intermediate student drowned at the Jodugulapalem Beach, when the youngster was taking a selfie in a mobile camera with his brother and another friend.

The incident occurred when 16-year-old Zaid, who was standing on a rock on the beach, was swept away by a huge wave.

Last year, two youth drowned at the same beach in a similar fashion, and three youngsters drowned while taking selfies at Chaparai waterfalls in Araku Valley. Another B. Tech student was electrocuted at Araku when he was trying to taking selfie on top of a train. The incident occurred when the youth got up a stationary train and came in contact with the overhead electrical wires.

“This is a worrying trend, but we do not have much control over it, apart from issuing cautionary notices,” said DCP (Law and Order) K. Fakkeerappa.

There is no law or Act that specifies legal norms, which can be used to notify some dangerous areas as ‘No selfie zones’. “All we can do is issue a cautionary notice and put up a warning signboard. It is for the people to respond positively,” said Mr. Fakkeerappa.

It is learnt that the police and the authorities concerned were planning to notify some areas as ‘no selfie zones’, but lack of legal support has shelved the proposal.

“We even have set-up caution notices in areas prone to drowning, but still people go for a swim and lose their lives,” observed Mr. Fakkeerappa.

Decrease in drowning

The drowning-prone beaches in the city are R.K. Beach, Yarada and Sagar Nagar or Jodugullapalem.

But in this year, there is sharp decline in the overall number of deaths, thanks to the increase in the number of community guards by the City Police and the GVMC.

Last year, the total number of deaths was around 46. But this year, it has dropped to 16 as on date.

Primarily, it is due to increasing the number of community guards at the beaches. It has been increased from 17— manning the three beaches of RK, Yarada and Rusikonda — to 37.

Appreciating the efforts of the community guards, the DCP said, “We have 32 taking care of the stretch from R.K. Beach to Bheemunipatnam and another five at Yarada. Every day, they save at least 2 to 3 persons from getting drowned,” he said.

The concept of community guards was initiated with the idea of generating employment for unemployed youth and enhancing the safety and security of the citizens in 2012, by the then Commissioner of Police J. Purnachandra Rao.

The initiative is supported by GVMC and managed by the City Police.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.