Bengaluru

Spurt in drowning cases as mercury level rises

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At least 80 persons drowned in the State in 2011

With the mercury level rising, the water bodies set amid scenic locales across the State have been turning into death traps. Most of the popular water spots have witnessed at least a dozen of deaths in the last three weeks.

The trend of drowning incidents in popular water bodies is generally observed from the onset of summer to the end of monsoon. With no sign of rain, the temptation of heat-wary people to go to such water bodies to cool off is expected to be high in the coming days.

Officials of rescue teams of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services observed that the visitors, mostly youngsters, lose their lives after venturing into the water bodies without knowing how strong the water current is.

At least 80 persons drowned in various water bodies in the State in 2011. A majority of the victims were from Bangalore, a Fire and Emergency Services officer said.

During summer, a large number of youngsters, mainly students from Bangalore, visit water bodies — lakes, riverbeds, beaches and waterfalls being the favourite spots.

According to the officer, investigation of most of the drowning incidents conducted by the authorities concerned had revealed that at least 90 per cent of such incidents were due to the negligence of the victims themselves.

“Whether the victims know swimming or not, they enter the water,” the officer said.

Lack of adequate and essential safety measures, venturing into water under the influence of alcohol and getting into water without knowing how to swim are said to be the major reasons for the increasing trend of drowning incidents.

The absence of lifeguards, railings, lifejackets, advisory signboards to warn visitors about the danger, security guards at some places, first aid, health centres and ambulances are also contribute to repeated drowning incidents at some of the water bodies.

Popular

Drowning incidents are common in Ullal, Panambur (Dakshina Kannada), Kapu, Malpe, Maravanthe (Udupi), Murudeshwar, Gokarn and Karwar (Uttara Kannada) beaches, Bharachukki-Gaganachukki falls of Shivanasamudra, Dabbagauli in the Melagiri range of the Eastern Ghats, the backwaters of Manchanbele dam in Ramanagaram, Muthathi (Cauvery) near Kanakapura, Jog Falls in Shimoga and Sathoddi falls in Uttara Kannada.

Though these spots are popular water bodies, they lack in terms of essential safety measures.

Even bathing ghats near some of the popular pilgrim places witness drowning incidents frequently. Kempu Hole off Shiradi Ghat near the Kabbinale reserve forest, Seetanadi river at Karady, Sringeri (Tunga river), Dharmasthala (Nethravati), Srirangapatna (Cauvery), Hampi (Tungabhadra) and Tirumakoodalu Narasipura (Cauvery-Kabini) are some of the places which often report drowning incidents.

Slippery surfaces

At Manchanbele, Gulakamale, Muthathi and other places, the water is very deep coupled with slippery surfaces, but no one is around to alert visitors at these places. As the basic safety measures are absent, more tragedies are bound to occur, as these are well-known water spots that attract people especially during summer, police officials said.

However, at Kapu, Gokarn, Jog Falls and other places, security guards are on duty and advisory boards are put up to alert visitors. Moreover, drowning incidents are widely published in the media. Even then, people venture into water by throwing caution to the winds.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 5:25:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/spurt-in-drowning-cases-as-mercury-level-rises/article2987039.ece

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