The safety of tourists visiting the famous beaches along Vasai’s coastline is becoming a cause for concern, as the number of lifeguards remains inadequate. Only 9 lifeguards are stationed across seven popular beaches to ensure the safety of beachgoers. This has created concern about the overall safety of tourists, especially on weekends as well as during the busiest tourist seasons.
Vasai, located in the western part of the district, boasts an extensive coastline featuring beaches such as Arnala, Rajodi, Bhayander, Suruchi Bagh, Kalamb, Navapur, and Rangaon. These beaches have gained popularity among tourists seeking recreational activities & relaxation. In recent years, Vasai-Virar has witnessed significant development, attracting tourists from various parts of Mumbai, Thane, and surrounding areas. Notably, weekends witness a higher influx of visitors along these shores, leading to increased demand for lifeguards.
The coastal area, particularly along the Vasai-Virar belt, has witnessed a surge in beachgoers, making it crucial to enhance safety measures. The concentration of tourists on weekends, especially on Vasai’s beaches, highlights the need for an adequate number of lifeguards. Presently, there are only 9 lifeguards positioned along Vasai’s shoreline, including Suruchi-2, Bhayander-2, Arnala-2, and Rajodi-3. Conversely, other areas such as Ranagav, Kalamb, and Navapur have lifeguards as well.
Unpredictable tides and intense sunlight along the coastal belt have made Vasai’s beaches potentially hazardous. Drowning incidents have brought attention to the importance for lifeguards to be vigilant and well-equipped. The efficiency of lifeguards in safeguarding beachgoers’ safety, however, is called into doubt given the current shortage of staff.
Efforts to Improve Safety
Local authorities and district administration must collaborate to provide necessary facilities and ensure visitor safety. The shortage of lifeguards necessitates a swift increase in their numbers to effectively monitor the ever-growing number of tourists. Authorities have taken steps to address this concern, with Vasai Sagar Police station reaching out to municipal officials and repeatedly urging them to bolster lifeguard resources.
Recent Tragedies Highlight the Urgency
Several recent incidents have underscored the urgency of this matter:
- March 19, 2023: Three young individuals ventured into the waters at Kalamb Beach, and tragically, one of them, Swapnil Bavkar (21), lost his life.
- March 12, 2023: Two young men, Roshan Gavde (23) and Saurabh Pal (22), drowned at Nalasopara Beach in Arnala.
- April 13, 2023: Sumit Ghadge (21) drowned at Rajodi Beach.
- May 13, 2023: A 15-year-old boy, Sahil Tripathi, visiting from Aurangabad, lost his life at Bhayander Beach.
- June 29, 2023: Amit Gupta (17) drowned at Achole Beach in Arnala.
These tragic events highlight the urgent need for more lifeguard staffing to ensure visitor safety and prevent such tragedies in the future.
Taking Measures to Make Beaches Safer
To address the shortage of lifeguards, the local municipality, district administration, and police must act swiftly. The authorities can greatly improve beachgoers’ safety through increasing their numbers and giving them adequate training and equipment. To prevent accidents and provide a secure environment for all tourists enjoying Vasai’s beautiful beaches, regular monitoring, efficient communication systems, and quick response procedures are important.