Posted: Monday 28th April 2014 at 8:30 am

Why Lose Lives On Holidays?

Once again our unsafe beaches have consumed nine or so lives. It is not unusual for holidaymakers who turn to the beaches in continuation of their merriment, to drown.

What happened during the last long Easter holidays was neither the first nor would it be the last to occur on our dangerous beaches, yet nothing has been done to ensure the safety of those who prefer swimming to other recreational stuff on holidays.

Some people foresaw the mishap coming, having come to such conclusion because of such previous fatalities when hundreds of holidaymakers converge on the beaches.

There could be other fatalities outside the official toll provided by officialdom because some bodies do not get washed ashore several days after being drowned. The ease with which human lives are lost on the beaches when there are options available to obviate such accidents is worrisome.

Pictures of skin-peeling and decomposing remains of the drowned, some of them stuck between rocks and boulders, others lying on the shores after their discovery, made heartbreaking spectacles.

We are constrained to pose the question as to whether as a people with authorities expected to ensure our safety, adequate measures are in place to achieve this goal.

Some of the holidaymakers have little or no knowledge of swimming, yet risk their lives by swimming beyond points which are safe.

With no lifeguards around to manage eventualities, such swimming novices end up losing their lives, helpless as it were.

Having lost lives each time we have long holidays, we should have by now come up with measures to protect lives of persons who take undue risks on such occasions.

It is our take that even though people have the right to lead their lives as they deem fit, when such persons put their lives in danger, the authorities can stop them from, for instance, swimming.

Would it not be in order when children, for instance, the underage, or adults who show clear inability to swim, are prevented by agents of state such as personnel of the Marine Police Unit from venturing into the sea?

The Marine Police, we were told by a Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Police Service’s Public Relations Directorate, Mr. Cephas Arthur, would be deployed along the beaches.

Some of us who predicted what happened took solace in the promised protection by the Marine Police – solace which was measured, given the limited number of personnel of the unit.

We should have learnt important lessons from what happened over the last holidays: we call on the authorities to augment the roll of the Marine Police and to equip them to police the beaches with a view to stopping avoidable drowning.

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