When cargo vessel MV Pavit ran aground off the Juhu beach on Sunday morning, the city’s police realised it was time to roll up their sleeves.
Having seen how over-zealous ship-gazers can throw caution to the wind and end up putting their lives in trouble when another cargo vessel, MV Wisdom, had been stranded at the same beach less than a month ago, the police is taking no chances this time round.
With the stranded MV Pavit already inviting hundreds of spectators eager for one glimpse of the 1000-tonne vessel, the police and lifeguards at Juhu beach have increased the
number of police personnel and lifeguards posted there to stop people from entering the stormy sea to get a closer look at the ship.
Sudha David, secretary of the Lifeguards Association of Juhu Beach said, “Fortunately, the crowd is much less than when MV Wisdom had been stranded at the beach. MV Pavit has run aground near Ruia Park and too not many revellers come to this spot.”
Even so, the 20-odd lifeguards at Juhu beach are finding it difficult to control the crowd. They say the beach is more crowded than what is expected on a weekday.
“Revellers are usually uncontrollable and do not listen to us. When we ask them to keep away from the sea they ask us to mind our own business,” said a lifeguard from Juhu beach who requested anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to the media.
“We cannot force them to listen to us and it is this attitude that led a few visitors to drown when MV Wisdom was stranded here,” he added.
When MV Wisdom was stranded at the Juhu beach, around four persons had drowned and 15 rescue operations were conducted to save visitors who were swept up by the tide as they ventured too close to the ship.
“Although the risk of people getting too close to MV Pavit is slimmer this time and we expect smaller crowds as the vessel is half the size of MV Wisdom, we are taking precautions to ensure no untoward incident occurs till the time it is stranded at beach,” said Subroto Mukherjee, a lifeguard.