Safety rules ignored in Cox's Bazar beach
Published : 20 Apr 2017, 14:56
Drowning of tourists in Cox's Bazar sea beach remains a serious concern as a section of people often violate safety rules and get into the water in risky areas and times.
"Seventy six tourists lost their lives in the beach area while taking bath in the Bay from 2005 to 2016. Besides, around 1200 endangered tourists were rescued alive," said diver Mostafa Kamal, team leader of Yasir Life Guard.
Four people drowned while taking bath in the sea beach area last year.
They include Jamal Hossain, 12, a Class VI student of Baitus Sharaf Jabbaria Academy in the district town, and Mushrat Jahan Asma, 45, a tourist from East Rampura in the capital.
Swimming zones with safe areas for bathing have been marked at Sugandha and Laboni points of the beach, with flags at the north and south points of the zone.
Some 25 trained workers of two organisations Yasir Life Guard and Sea Safe Life Guard -- are deployed at the points to ensure safety of people bathing there.
"But defying risk, many tourists go into the sea beyond the safe zone for a bath. There is a ban on bathing in the sea during ebb tide but the tourists seldom follow it," said Imtiaz Ahmed, manager of Sea Safe Life Guard.
"Kolatoli point has become popular with the tourists as there are arrangements for entertainment like water bikes. Many tourists take bath there although the point is very risky due to strong tide and waves. Accidents frequently occur here as no life guard is deployed here.
"It is very risky to go to the sea with tubes during ebb tide. Caught in the strong tides, the swimmers often lose grip on the tubes and face the risk of drowning," he said.
A large number of tourists also go for bathing in the sea at Saibal, Darianagar, Himchhari, Inani and Teknaf Hatchery points of the beach although they frequently face danger at these points.
During a visit to the sea beach from Kolatoli to Diabetic Hospital point it was found that although red flags were hoisted during ebb tide many tourists ignored the danger signal and hired tubes to go to the sea on those.
Despite widespread awareness campaign, many tourists continue to ignore safety rules, said Hossain Md Raihan Kazemi, senior assistant superintendent of Cox's Bazar Tourist Police.
Naimul Haque Chowdhury Tutul, member of Cox's Bazar Beach Management Committee, said netting the beach area would minimise the incidents of deaths in the sea beach but it cannot be done at this moment due to fund shortage.
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