After death, govt suspends all watersports operations

Its also a very good time to look in to the safety aspects of other dangerous sports like hot air balloons. its good that the goverment is being strict about water sports safety…however the safety of all tourism activity should also be looked at etc

Goa government on Wednesday ordered suspension of all water sports activities across the state. The decision was taken in the wake of thedeath of a tourist on Tuesday while parasailing at Colva. A case of negligence has been booked against the water sports operators in the case of the death of West Bengal tourist, Shashishekhar Prasad, 50.

The Captain of Ports (CoP) James Braganza said the order was issued consequent to the Colva incident as a precautionary measure. The situation will be reviewed on Thursday when it will be decided whether water sport activities will be allowed to continue till May 31, he added.

Water sport activities are normally allowed till May end, but can be stopped if the weather turns bad as drastic changes sets in a week before monsoon. Water sports are not allowed to operate during monsoon.

Close to 400-500 water sport operators are granted NoC by CoP after examination of vessels used in the sports said Braganza adding that vessel inspection is a continuous process. Parasailing operators have to register with the tourism department besides they have to obtain permissions from other authorities as it is an adventure sport.

Colva police has registered a case under section 304 A (death due to negligence) against brothers Agnel Fernandes and James Fernandes, who are the owners of the speed boat, the boat operator Bhanusingh Chauvan, and parsail operator Vijay K.

PI Gurudas Kadam told TOI, “The sea was rough and weather conditions were unsuitable for such water sports, and therefore they shouldn’t have operated the parasail. This amounts to negligence on their part in taking safety precautions.”

The post mortem report on Wednesday suggests that the death occurred due todrowning , police sources said.

The body was handed over to the relatives of the deceased after conducting the necessary formalities.

Sources said that Prasad was in Goa to attend a three-day convention held by a popular apparel manufacturing company for its dealers. Prasad was one of the dealers from West Bengal and was staying at Utorda along with his wife. The convention concluded on Tuesday afternoon and Prasad along with his wife and a couple of friends visited the Colva beach. The temptation of a parasail proved irresistible for Prasad as he ignored his wife’s resistance owing to the “ill-fitting” safety jacket, which finally proved fatal.

Some parasail operators told TOI that Prasad landed “safely” after an “emergency landing” in the water. “The speed boat operator realized that the parachute was not ascending to the desired height, probably owing to bad weather conditions, and therefore decided to have an emergency landing. The chute landed in the water close to the shore, but he (Prasad) failed to wade through the waist deep water as just then a large wave carried him further into the sea.”

While the parasail operators blamed lifeguards for that they called a “botched up” resuscitation operation, Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd, the agency that operates lifeguard services on Goa’s beaches, maintained that the rescue operation was carried out professionally and by experienced hands.

CEO, Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd, Ankit Somani told TOI : “There was no possibility of any compromise of the quality of first aid received by the victim. Our lifeguards have been involved in over 3,000 rescues and are the best trained, equipped and experienced. Beside they undergo refresher training sessions periodically.”

Every incident involving rescue operations is followed by an independent inquiry to ascertain that the task was carried out as per laid down techniques, Somani said, adding that the latest incident will also be probed by independent evaluators.