Red Flags, Warnings Go Up Across Goa to Prevent Tourist Deaths

The signs clearly state: No selfies.

2 min read

At the start of the off season, a stern warning went up across all the popular tourist sites in Goa on Friday, 22 June. The signs clearly state that no selfies are allowed. Along with these signs are red flags that have been planted at all the spots, reported The Indian Express.

The new flags and fresh warnings went up at the most prominent tourist spots in Goa: Baga River, Dona Paula Jetty, Sinquerim Fort, Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim, Ashwem, Arambol, Kerim in the north. In the south, the signs have gone up at Agonda, Bogmalo, Hollant, Baina, Japanese Garden, Betul, Canaguinim, Palolem, Khola, Cabo De Rama, Polem, Galgibagh, Talpona and Rajbagh. The signs tell the story behind the need for such a warning – recent tourist deaths.

In a video that went viral on 17 June, one girl and two boys from Tamil Nadu were sitting on the rocks below Fort Aguada, one of the popular tourist spots. The video shows the horrific chain of events as a huge plunging wave crashes onto the rocks, taking one of the boys with it while receding.

The friend shooting the video was allegedly right in front of a sign that read danger.

“The indifference to the law has started to cost heavy. It also has to do with a poor understanding of water and lack of awareness of a healthy beach culture”, Ravi Shanker, CEO of Drishti Marine, the state-appointed lifeguard agency at 40 prominent beaches across Goa, told The Indian Express.

The state government has noted four incidents where deaths occurred since the start of the off season on 31 May. It will stretch till 30 September.

More deaths have occurred recently, with five people drowning in a heavy currents zone of Calangute beach, while another tourist fell off Vagator tower while allegedly taking a selfie.

According to Ashwin Ghag, a seasoned lifeguard, the most common problem was the influence of alcohol. He added that accidents frequently tend to happen when people try to swim to impress others. Jivba Dalvi, senior police inspector of Calangute beach, noted that many accidents also happen while trying to take photographs. “We are not saying do not take selfies, but avoid taking it close to the waters or risking near cliffs or slippery rocks as the currents keep pulling at urgent force”, he told The Indian Express.

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