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Ahead of Christmas, New Year, Drishti Marine ramps up lifesaver operations along beaches, water bodies

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Goa Khabar: With Goa expecting higher tourist footfalls during the upcoming festive week through Christmas and New Year, Drishti Marine has scaled up its life-saving operations in the coastal areas, including introducing midnight shifts as well as beefing up the number of lifesavers on beaches, especially along beaches and other water bodies, in order to cater to the expected surge of visitors.  

Tourist arrivals to Goa during the festive weekend had dipped in the preceding years on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, but this festive season is expected to reverse the trend.

“We anticipate the next few days to be extremely busy across the coast, especially on beach stretches which witness high footfalls. Accordingly, anticipating the need, we have initiated deployment of additional lifesavers across beaches, especially at the popular beaches on the Sinquerim – Baga stretch, Calangute, Vagator, Morjim, Colva – Benaulim stretch and Palolem,” said Navin Awasthi, Operations Head, Drishti Marine. 

Drishti has also deliberately expanded manpower presence from 18 to 24 lifesavers along the busy beach areas of Baga, Miramar, Calangute, and Candolim in north Goa and Colva, Benaulim, and Palolem in south Goa, all of which are beaches which witness peak tourist activity.  As many as 25 persons had to be rescued by lifeguards during the New Year’s weekend last year.

While additional personnel are being deployed, lifesavers are also working in shifts to cover the high midnight crowds on Christmas and New Year’s eve.  Women lifesavers who are part of the team are also being deployed keeping in mind the high number of female tourists on the shore. 

While more than 450 lifesavers will be manning their designated sites and 80 beach safety patrol personnel will be engaged in the operations to ensure unhindered service. 

According to Santano Fernandes, a Drishti lifesaver and instructor at Drishti Marine there is a definite need for extra manpower during the festive season. “The two significant issues we prepare ourselves for on Christmas and New Year are crowd management and attending to individuals who are intoxicated. For this reason, deploying more lifesavers helps to mitigate any unforeseen circumstances that may arise,” he said.

Additionally, Drishti Marine’s jeep patrolling fleet has been enhanced with additional vehicles, in order to speedily assist with rescues and intensify patrolling along the beach stretches.   

Jet skis have also been stationed at all key beaches. Additional jet skis have also been deployed at popular beaches which witness higher tourist footfalls. Every tower and jeep has a high-powered two-way radio set installed to enable a strong communications capability. Lifesavers manning these jet skis also coordinate with each other at various locations during search and rescue operations.

At all 35 towers, the lifesavers are equipped with first-aid kits, spine boards, surfboards, rescue boards, rescue tubes, handheld radio sets, bag valve masks to assist in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (A.E.D.) machines. 

 

Lifesavers are posted at the below-mentioned beaches and water bodies:   

South Goa: Baina, Bogmollo, Velsao, Hollant, Arrosim, Majorda, Utorda, Betalbatim, Colva, Benaulim, Taj – Benaulim, Varca, Zalor, Seranbatim Cavellosim, Mobor, Agonda, Betul, Cananguinim, Cabo De Rama, Pallolem, Cola Beach, Patnem, Rajbagh, Talpona, Galgibag and Pollem, 

North Goa: Querim, Coco Beach, Arambol, Ashwem and Mandrem, Morjim, Vagator, Anjuna, Baga-1, Baga-2, Calangute, Candolim-1, Candolim-2, Sinquerim, Miramar, Vaiguinim –Donapaula, Siridao /Bambolim as well as Dudhsagar Waterfalls and Mayem Lake. 

Waterfall and Lake : Dudhsagar Waterfalls and Mayem Lake. 

Total: North beaches (16) + South beaches (26) + Waterfall and Lake (02) = 44 

Drishti lifesavers operate from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm (until sunset). Post sunset from 6:00 pm to 12 midnight the beaches are patrolled by the Beach Safety Patrol (BSP).  

 

#ListenToYourLifeguard: Safety tips from Drishti, Goa’s lifesaver agency:  

 

·         Those visiting the beach should keep a minimum 10 meters away from the waterline and listen to the instructions given by the lifeguards. 

·         Keep a very close eye on children while on the beach and do not allow children to venture into the waters unattended, no matter how shallow it may be. 

·         Stay alert as lifeguards while patrolling make announcements to alarm and educate people via the Public Address System put up on the jeeps. 

·         It is not suitable to head out to the beach or venture into the water during rough weather.  

·         Do not get onto the rocks during low tide because the rocks can be slippery. 

·         Be wary of broken pieces of glass on the beaches which can cause injuries. 

·          If under the influence of alcohol, make sure you do not venture into the water.  

·         Always read and obey the safety signs found at the main entrance of the beach 

·         Wear a mask and maintain social distancing at all times