Mumbai: As the mercury shoots up in the city, youngsters generally rush towards the sea to take a dip in group and have fun sans knowing whether the tide is high or low. This is the crucial time lifeguards generally face to stop revellers from going deep into the sea. On Friday evening, Govandi-resident Avnesh Shahnawaz Khan (16) died of drowning as the teenager ventured into the deep sea in high tide near Haji Ali. Khan had gone there with his friends to have fun with them.
The president of The Sea-Guardian Lifeguard, Sunil Kanojia, told the Free Press Journal that the revellers generally do not take their suggestions seriously and often land in trouble or later their ‘body is found washed out.’
“People do not take the suggestions of lifeguards seriously. The revellers, mostly youngsters equate lifeguards to watchmen. We often suggest them not to venture into the deep sea specially during high tide but they never listen to us. Few revellers have indulged into heated arguments with our lifeguards.
People who come to enjoy with friends get offended with the intervention of lifeguards’ suggestion,” said Kanojia, who further added that washed out bodies are found generally during summer and rainy seasons. The Sea-Guardian Lifeguard keeps watch on the 4.5 kilometre stretch at Juhu beach where maximum number of people throng.
Few years ago, the number of drowning death at Juhu beach was nearly 60 people in a year, but the strict vigil of the lifeguards, BMC, Fire Brigade and other stakeholders have successfully controlled and restricted people venturing deep into the sea. “Now hardly four to five people die due to drowning at Juhu beach and all these deceased were adamant to listen to our lifeguards,” Kanojia said.