Panaji: Goa’s state-appointed lifesaving and rescue organisation, Drishti, has had a busy year in 2022, with the lifesaving force rescuing 476 individuals along the coast from the months of Jan to October of 2022. The rescues included water-based rescues, medical emergencies and first aid. Several of the water – based rescues were double and triple rescues. Unfortunately, 4 individuals succumbed to the waters.
The month of October witnessed the highest rescues where 109 rescues were reported in the month followed by 63 in May and 53 in January this year.
Of the total number of individuals involved in the incidents, 460 were Indian citizens including residents from the state, while 16 foreigners were rescued during the year so far.
A total of 107 individuals between the ages of 26 and 35 years were rescued. 94 individuals rescued were from the age group of 19 to 25 years of age, while 83 were below the age of 12 years.
Drishti lifesaving team are first responders to any medical emergencies which may arise on the coast. In the last 9 months, 84 people were assisted to safety while first aid was administered to 28 individuals across the designated beaches where the lifesavers are deployed.
From January to October, there were 91 cases of missing children where young ones wander off away from their families while frantic parents and family members reach out to the lifesavers for help. Drishti’s alert team has successfully closed all reported missing child cases, reuniting the children with their parents. The busy month of October recording the highest number of such incidents at 24. Calangute beach which received a large number of footfalls had the most missing children incidents at 33 cases, followed by Baga with 24 and Colva with 4.
Calangute is witness to the highest number of incidents this year too with 131 incidents reported so far followed by 85 in Baga,28 in Arambol while Vagator accounted for 22, Candolim accounted for 19 , and Morjim reported 15 incidents, respectively. Meanwhile, Ashwem accounted for 12 while Miramar and Sinquerim reported 11 incidents respectively, while in South Goa, Palolem reported 26 incidents and Colva reported 17 incidents.
Drishti began operations in Goa in 2008. A total of 200 drowning cases occurred in 2007, the previous year which prompted the state government to take immediate measures and put together an efficient system. The service has led to a 99% reduction in deaths due to drowning and significantly improved the tourist experience in Goa. Over 6,000 lives have been saved since then, due to intervention rescue operations.