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Three drowning cases at Suryalanka beach in 14 days raise concern

GUNTUR: As many as eleven youth from Tenali came to Suryalanka beach in Bapatla recently. While swimming, two of them were washed away. The marine police found both the youth and brought them to the shore, but one of them died while undergoing treatment. In the last 14 days, as many as 23 persons faced a similar situation in eight incidents, in which three died.

Suryalanka beach is one of the most attractive tourist spots in Bapatla district. Tourists from Hyderabad, Guntur, Vijayawada, Tenali, Narasaraopet, Sattenapalli, Ponnur, Chilakaluripet and Repalle visit the beach. The footfall has been on the rise for the last two months due to the holiday season.

Marine police Circle Inspector Subbarao said in the past few weeks, due to west winds, sand pits are forming due to uneven and heavy waves, resulted in the formation of whirlpools in the sea. The new moon and full moon conditions have increased the disturbance in the sea.

At such times, the people entering the sea should be much more careful, he warned. “We have issued directions against people entering the sea in an inebriated state and without elders and playing ball games, the tourists are ignoring them,” he said.

The shortage of marine police staff is also increasing the workload on the existing staff. Only 15 personnel are there in place of the sanctioned strength of 53. The Bapatla hospital is 7 km away from the beach, which delays shifting those met with accidents from Suryalanka to Bapatla.

The Bapatla police and district administration have set up a first aid centre near the beach. First aid will be provided to patients by Asha workers, before shifting them to the hospital. District collector Viajyakrishnan and SP Vakul Jindal inaugurated the centre on Wednesday.