New Delhi: At least nine foreigners were among 71 tourists who were rescued from drowning by lifeguards off Goa’s beaches, officials said on Sunday. The state Tourism Ministry has released a statement with figures.
A total of 217 Indian tourists and 46 foreigners have been rescued from drowning from the beginning of 2018, a statement issued by Drishti Lifesaving, a private beach management agency appointed by the Tourism Ministry for tourist safety on Goa’s beaches, also said.
“As many as nine foreigners were among 71 tourists rescued by lifeguards while swimming off the state’s popular beaches in October. 217 Indian tourists and 46 foreigners have already been rescued while swimming off the beaches from January to October this year,” the statement said.
Goa’s international tourism season began on October 4 and is expected to stretch up to March 2019.
The statement also said that cyclonic conditions had induced particularly strong currents off Goa’s beaches, which saw a spike in the number of rescue attempts as tourists swimming in the sea were affected by dangerous rip currents and underwater currents in Baga, Calangute, Candolim, Morjim, and Arambol.
Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts nearly eight million tourists every year, out of which half a million are foreigners.
In July, the Goa government had made an announcement to impose fines on tourists for litter and drinking in public. “We will follow this strictly. The fine announced by the Chief Minister is less. It should be hiked as much as possible. We urge people and tourists to not misbehave with any girl or woman because our Goa is famous all over India and the world. People come here to see our culture and our natural beauty. There will be no compromise on anyone who is drunk and misbehaves. We will take strict actions,” Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar had said.