PANAJI: Sixteen water-sports-related accidents were reported over the last 14 months on Goa’s beaches, causing a slew of injuries to participants and bystanders, according to data maintained by Drishti Marine, a state government-appointed agency deployed to prevent mishaps and drownings along the coastline.
With seven incidents, Palolem topped the list of beaches with the most number of water-sports accidents, while most persons injured in the accidents were from the age group of between 26-35 years, according to statistics. The accidents were linked to water-sports activities, which included boat rides, banana boat rides, paragliding and kayaking.
One death was also reported at Baina beach on New Year’s eve. According to media reports, a 72-year-old Mumbai resident died soon after he suffered a mild cardiac arrest while participating in a water-sports activity at Baina beach. Three other water-sports-related accidents were also reported at Baina beach. One of the incidents involved a banana boat, which capsized in the sea during a joyride throwing a passenger off it. The offloaded passenger was hit by another boat passing by, causing injury.
Two accidents were reported at Betalbatim beach, while one accident each occurred on Candolim, Agonda, Arambol and Baga beaches. 17 out of the 20 people involved in accidents were tourists, while three locals were injured.
At Betalbatim beach, an 84-year-old German was walking when a paragliding operator collided with him while attempting to land the aircraft. The German’s hand was caught in the revolving blades of the craft, causing major gashes to his elbow and the loss of three fingers. Alert Drishti Marine lifesavers retrieved one dismembered finger and deposited it in an ice packet before the injured man was transported to a nearby hospital after suffering major blood loss.
In another instance at Betalbatim beach, a 27-year-old woman was preparing to take off with her parasail when a sudden malfunction caused her to plummet to the ground, injuring her. The accident led to the woman receiving a cut to her leg and acute spinal pain. The woman was given first aid and transported to a hospital in a designated Drishti Marine jeep stationed on the beach.
According to the water-sports accident statistics from January 2022 to February 2023, seven accidents involved persons aged 26-35 years, while five accidents involved those in the age bracket of 36-45 years.
“Drishti Marine’s lifesavers have ensured that those injured and distressed due to water-sports accidents receive timely assistance in all situations. The accidents often result in severe wounds and heavy bleeding, which makes it critical to stop the blood flow and immediately transport the person to the nearest hospital,” says Navin Awasthi, Operations Head of Drishti Marine.