'Visitors don't pay heed to warning signs' | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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'Visitors don't pay heed to warning signs'

Eyewitnesses at the Aksa Beach have blamed Sunday's tragic drowning on lack of adequate number of lifeguards and the ignorance of the victims.Three boys, who were part of a group, entered the sea despite a board warning them that the waters were not fit for swimming. Farhan Shaikh reports.

mumbai Updated: May 06, 2013 01:59 IST
Farhan Shaikh

Eyewitnesses at the Aksa Beach have blamed Sunday's tragic drowning on lack of adequate number of lifeguards and the ignorance of the victims.

Three boys, who were part of a group, entered the sea despite a board warning them that the waters were not fit for swimming.

45-year-old Praful Mhatre, who runs a food stall at the beach and witnessed the incident, told HT, "There was only one lifeguard at the beach. It is not possible for one man to rescue four people. But visitors are also to blame. Despite the many hoardings and warnings put up there, people don't pay heed."

Mhatre said he came to know of the mishap at around 9.45 am, when two boys came running towards the lifeguard outpost, screaming for help.

"A few of us went to see what happened. When the boys told us that four of their friends were drowning, the lifeguard and some other men rushed to the spot and dived into the water. The locals then informed the fire brigade."

When we warn the visitors not to go into the water they ask us to mind our own business, a stall owner at the beach said.

Rajnikanth Malshekar, the lifeguard said, "It is a herculean task on the weekends as the beach attracts many visitors. They all step into the water, despite our warnings."

He also cited shortage of equipment as an issue. "Our equipment is limited to a pair of binoculars, five life jackets and six buoys."