Mumbai / Goa, January 2023: Drishti Marine, Goa’s state-appointed lifesaving and rescue organisation, rescued 456 persons along the coast from January to December last year. Persons in the age bracket of 26 to 35 years accounted for 153 rescues, the highest number of rescues across various age categories.
The rescues cover water-based rescues, medical situations and administration of first aid. Several of the water-based rescues included saving more than one person at a time. Unfortunately, all through 2022, four persons also succumbed to the waters.
The month of October, which marks the formal beginning of Goa’s tourism season, witnessed the highest rescues with 118 rescues reported in the month, followed by 67 in December and 63 in May last year.
Of the total number of individuals involved in rescue incidents, 585 were Indian citizens including residents from the state, while 45 foreigners were rescued in the previous year.
Navin Awasthi, the operations head of Drishti Marine comments on the high incident rates among the age demographic, he says “The highest number of individuals involved in beach-related incidents were from the age group of 26 to 35 years which accounted for 153, followed by the age group of 19 to 25 years which accounted for 129 and ages below 12 years accounted for 124.”
The Drishti lifesaving team is also the first responder to any medical emergencies which arise on the state’s coast. In the year 2022, 112 people were assisted in recovery from medical incidents, while first-aid was administered to 40 individuals across the designated beaches where the Drishti lifesavers are deployed.
“From January to December, there were 109 cases of missing children, where young ones wandered away from their families, forcing frantic parents and family members to reach out to the lifesavers for help, Drishti’s alert team has successfully closed all reported missing children cases, reuniting them with their parents.” said Navin Awasthi.
Calangute beach which received a large number of footfalls had the most missing children incidents at 45 cases, followed by Baga with 35 and Colva with 11.
Calangute was witness to the highest number of incidents this year too with 162 incidents reported so far, followed by 109 in Baga, 45 in Arambol while Candolim accounted for 33, Morjim reported 30 incidents, and Vagator accounted for 27, respectively. Meanwhile, Ashwem accounted for 12 while Miramar and Sinquerim reported 12 incidents respectively. In South Goa, Palolem reported 30 incidents and Colva reported 21 such incidents.
Drishti began operations in Goa in 2008. A total of 200 drowning cases occurred in 2007, the previous year which prompted the state government to take immediate measures and put together an efficient system. The service has led to a 99% reduction in deaths due to drowning and significantly improved the tourist experience in Goa. Over 6,000 lives have been saved since then, due to intervention rescue operations.