The tragic incident on Monday, in which at least 13 students drowned near Murud beach in Raigad district, has several unfortunate precedents. The fact that such incidents continue to be reported raise a question mark on whether adequate precautionary measures are being taken to prevent such fatalities.
Not long ago, in 2014, six persons, all residents of Chembur in Mumbai, died of drowning at Murud-Janjira after they went to the beach after consuming alcohol, according to a report in The Indian Express. One of the survivors had then said that some local persons had warned them that it would not be safe to swim in the area, according to a Mumbai Mirror report.
A Times of India report from 2011 said that although lifeguards were deployed at the beach in Murud, the measure was not sufficient. This was particularly so during weekends, when the number of visitors is higher, as mentioned in the report.
Maharashtra has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of deaths caused by drowning in India. The state saw as many as 4,822 such fatalities in the year 2014, according to statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Deaths due to drowning are among the leading causes of accidental deaths in the country, along with road accidents, fires and building crashes.