Imported lifeguards are not familiar with the Goan beaches; We need Goans


Asserting that drowning of foreigners on Goa’s famed beaches affects its image globally, Waste Management Minister Michael Lobo said most of the recent drowning deaths were due to the imported lifeguards who are not familiar with the Goan beaches. He said as many as 14 drowning deaths have been reported in North Goa, which includes foreigners, painting a bleak picture about the State’s rescue efforts on the beaches. “Since most of the lifeguards are on strike, Drishti has replaced them with lifeguards from outside the State who are not well-versed with the beaches of Goa and who are far less in number. This has resulted in a sudden surge in drowning deaths,” Lobo said. The Waste Management Minister was speaking on the sidelines of a function to flag off beach-cleanliness drive on Calangute beach. Continuing, Lobo said the government has to take a decision one way or the other at the earliest or else it could have an impact on the tourist season which has just begun. “Russian tourists who come in large numbers are not familiar with the sea conditions on Goan beaches. Replaced lifeguards from Pune who are not familiar with the Goan beaches will be of no use. We need local lifeguards who are familiar with the sea conditions,” Lobo said. Batting for the striking lifeguards, he said the government has to find a way out to resolve the issue. “I have spoken to the CM on the issue. If need be, I will also meet the tourism minister, tourism director and even all the coastal MLAs. All of us will have to sit and find a permanent solution to the issue of the lifeguards,” he said. The minister stated that more than 200 lifeguards had approached him on Tuesday and disclosed that most of them were exploited at work. Lobo said there was high expectation on beach cleaning as a new contractor has been appointed to keep the Goan coastline clean. He said the new contractor has invested in infrastructure and deployed seven vehicles along the Baga-Sinquerim beach stretch unlike the previous contractor who had kept only two vehicles.

As many as 14 drowning deaths have been reported in North Goa, which includes foreigners, painting a bleak picture about the State’s rescue efforts on the beaches. Since most of the lifeguards are on strike, Drishti has replaced them with lifeguards from outside the State who are not well-versed with the beaches of Goa and who are far less in number. This has resulted in a sudden surge in drowning deaths. The government has to take a decision one way or the other at the earliest or else it could have an impact on the tourist season which has just begun. Replaced lifeguards from Pune who are not familiar with the Goan beaches will be of no use. We need local lifeguards.