State-of-the-art Beach Surveillance System on anvil in Goa

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Panaji, Jun 13 (UNI) A state-of-the-art beach surveillance system, with broadband internet backbone and very high frequency communication network, is on the anvil in Goa where incidents of drowning had been mounting year after year.

Disclosing this to newspersons here today, State Tourism Minister Francisco Xavier (Mickey) Pacheco said the task was being entrusted to the Mumbai-based professional and proven organisation ''Drishti Adventure Sports Pvt Ltd under the banner of ''Surf Life Saving Goa (SLSG).

Chairman of the special purpose company, former rear admiral P D Sharma would submit the five-year project report to the government in a few weeks. The government would buy the life-saving most modern equipment worth Rs 8.9 crore, which will include high speed crafts, rigid inflatable boats and mobile beach towers.

The able-bodied life guards would be recruited and trained by experts of Surf Life Saving Australia before deployment at identified beach points known as ''safe beach havens''.

He said Goa reported 46 cases of drowning of tourists in the year 2004, which went up to 72 in 2007 and 35 so far this year. The life guards would also engage in educating the tourists on the beach safety.

Mr Sharma, who is also founder president of the Pune-based Rashtriya Life Saving Society, said all the identified beach points would be covered with 24-hour live closed circuit camaras, which would be networked with the base station at Vasco city.

The camaras would be monitored by the experts, who will issue instructions through public address system from the control room to respective stations, thus keeping the public informed of the conditions of the waves and impending dangers.

The life guards would provide first aid in case of any drowning cases and later rush them to the nearest hospital for medicare with the help of ambulances. As many as 123 lifeguards would be deployed in the first phase.

India had reported as many as 11,000 cases of deaths by road accidents and 50,000 by drownig every year. This could be reduced if proper precautions were taken and systems introduced at the danger zones, he added.

Elvis Gomes, director, tourism department, said the agency was studying the Goan beaches and it was likely to submit a detailed project report for implementation shortly.

Most of the 51 lifeguards, earlier deployed by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation, may be redeployed on contract basis, if they were found fit for the task, he added.

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