Andhra's Bapatla district shuts down beaches after multiple drownings

With a 76-km long coastline, Suryalanka, Ramapuram and Vodarevu beaches are the most attractive tourist spots in Bapatla district.
As a precautionary measure, the police temporarily shut down three beaches in the district.
As a precautionary measure, the police temporarily shut down three beaches in the district. Photo | Express

GUNTUR: Following the two tragic incidents in which as many as six people drowned at Vodarevu beach in Bapatla district in the past week, as a precautionary measure, the police temporarily shut down three beaches in the district.

Last week, over 20 people washed away in the sea due to heavy tides in two separate incidents. While police rescued 14 people, six persons, including four youth from West Godavari district and two from Mangalagiri, drowned and died. Following this, the police closed both Suryalanka, Ramapuram and Vodarevu beaches and imposed a ban from entering into the sea until further notice.

Speaking to TNIE, Bapatla SP Vakul Jindal said that due to some geological reasons, the sea is more aggressive and sand pits are forming due to heavy tides. “As a result, even though tourists are not venturing into deep waters, they are getting caught in these sand pits and are drowning. As police cannot be present everywhere and rescue everyone, the ban is enforced as a preventive measure,” he said.

He also informed that the police are roping in resort managements at both beaches to appoint skilled swimmers and prevent tourists from venturing into sea until the precautionary measures are in place. “Cautionary boards are being set up and safe spots for tourists to venture into sea will be marked with red ropes, skilled divers and outpost police will be set up in the next four to five days, and until then the ban will be in force”, he added.

With a 76-km long coastline, Suryalanka, Ramapuram and Vodarevu beaches are the most attractive tourist spots in Bapatla district.

Two years back, due to an increase in drowning cases, the police and district administration appointed 10 skilled divers, outpost police personnel, and set up three watchtowers, and a first-aid centre at Suryalanka beach.

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