Goa beaches not hazardous for swimming: Study

Panaji: A private firm providing lifeguard services in Goa has said that there are no beaches in the state that can be termed as "hazardous" for swimming, except for the fact that a large number of "footfalls" on a few seashores make them prone to accidents.

Drishti Special Response Services (DSRS), which has been manning beaches since 2008, has observed that there are more fatalities on the tourist hotspots like Baga, Calangute, and Colva "due to high number of footfalls".

"There are no hazardous beaches in Goa. There are some no-swim zones which are created due to currents. But overall there is no beach which can be called as hazardous for swimming," DSRS CEO V K Kanwar told reporters here on the sidelines of a drive to recruit lifeguards.

"There are six major rivers that empty into sea in Goa. A river meeting the sea creates seasonal rip currents which are dangerous," he said, adding there is not a single beach in the coastal state which can be termed as "totally unsafe".

DSRS has conducted a comprehensive study of all the beaches in the state and presented it to the government. The firm which has placed over 400 lifeguards manning all the beaches in the state is likely to extend its services to inland water bodies where instances of drowning are high.

Kanwar said that drowning incidents happen because of the amateur swimmers who venture into sea keeping their security on line. "Most of the people who go for swim (in the sea) do not know swimming but they still go for it," he said, adding drowning accidents happen as young revellers tend to ignore the potential risk involved in venturing into waters.

According to the study, most of the drowning cases have taken place between 12 noon and 4 PM. "This time of the day there are a number of drowning cases," Kanwar said, adding there were instances in the past wherein the lifeguards were bullied by aggressive crowd when they are stopped from going into no-swim zone.