VISAKHAPATNAM: Taking a holy dip in the sea during the Maha Shivaratri festival turned tragic for two persons who drowned after they were pulled in by strong waves at the beach near Visakha Valley School Road in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday morning. Three other men, who were also swept away at Arilova, Rushikonda and Jodugulapalem beaches, were rescued by the local swimmers. The deceased have been identified as K Ramana (45), an electrician, and D Siva Prasad (49), a private employee, both residents of Arilova here.
Around 50 persons from Arilova and Indira Nagar came to the beach near Visakha Valley School Road on Wednesday morning to take holy dip on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri. Some five men went deep into the water and were pulled in by a strong wave. Two of them could make it to the shore, while Siva Prasad, his son Yashwanth and Ramana were washed away. Yashwanth was rescued to the shore immediately, while Siva Prasad and Ramana were fished out of the water with the help of police and local swimmers, said Arilova inspector Tirupathi Rao, adding that the duo died while undergoing treatment at a hospital.
Meanwhile, a person while taking a bath at Rushikonda beach reportedly developed feats and was washed away. But, the swimmers brought him out of the harm’s way and shifted to a hospital. Another 35-year-old man was sucked in by strong waves at Jodugulapalem. However, the swimmers deployed at the beach noticed him raising an alarm and managed to bring him back to the shore.
The Arilova police said that though they had specified the safe zones for taking bath and swimming ahead of the festival, people ignored the instructions and took holy dips in the danger zones.
“Between Jodugulapalem and Rushikonda, we have notified Jodgulapalem, Sagar Nagar and Rushikonda beaches safe for bathing and engaged 46 swimmers, an ambulance, apart from a first-aid kiosk. Despite repeated public announcements, the residents of Arilova and Indira Nagar took holy dip at the beach near Visakha Valley School, which is a danger zone,” explained Tirupathi Rao. Cases have been registered at Arilova police station.
Sea of humanity at Kumbhabhishekam
Since Tuesday night, the Beach Road witnessed a humongous crowd with thousands of devotees took part in the Kumbhabhishekam and special prayers organised by Lalitha Kala Parishath that continued until Wednesday morning. Aall through the Tuesday night, people watched the series of folk plays and dramas lined up as part of the Shivaratri celebrations. A number of stalls were set up on the Beach Road as the street vendors did a brisk business. Vehicular entry was restricted at AIR Junction and Police Mess area to avoid traffic congestions. On Wednesday morning, it was a sea of humanity from the RK Beach to Bheemili as people jostled with each other to take holy dip. Police made public announcements advising people not to enter deep inside the sea.