Tourists' lives at peril at Kerala's Kappil beach: Here's why

It was a few days ago that two members of a family lost their lives on the Kappil Beach. File Photo

At least four lives have been lost at the estuary in Thiruvananthapuram's Kappil beach due to the mismanagement and incompetency of the tourism department. The Thiruvananthapuram DTPC has appointed only one lifeguard here while the local authorities and the people in the locality had demanded the service of four lifeguards, as Kappil is one of the busiest tourist spots in the district, and is a favourite spot for visitors from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam. It was a few days ago that two members of a family lost their lives here. On the day of the accident, the lifeguard was on leave to attend to his sick mother. He had availed the leave after informing the Anjuthengu coastal police. However, neither the coastal police nor the tourism department made any alternate arrangements, that too, on a holiday when thousands of tourists visit the Kappil beach. Earlier, a plus two student from Mylapore in Kottiyam and an IIT student from Andhra Pradesh had died here.

It is difficult to save lives in the strong waves that beat the rocks. The shop owners on the beach and the people in the locality say that the tourists hardly pay heed to the warnings and freely walk into the estuary where danger lurks. Meanwhile, the tourism department hasn’t placed even a warning sign on the beach which is frequented by both foreign and domestic tourists. Visitors think that the estuary is safe as the water is just knee-deep here. However, there are treacherous gorges and strong undercurrents that may sweep away the mud from beneath your feet. Besides, those who get trapped here may get hit by the rocks that have been paved to protect the coast. People have been demanding to impose a ban on entering the estuary and beach at least until the monsoon subsides. Kappil Coast gets the service of just one lifeguard while 16 lifeguards have been appointed at the nearby Varkala beach. The lifeguard at the Kappil beach has been reportedly working in undesirable conditions without sufficient rest or leave in the last four months. The lifeguard was able to save the lives of more than six people who drowned on the beach. However, there is no one to ensure the safety of the visitors on the days the lifeguard is on leave. 

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