A parasailing joyride ended in tragedy for 46-year-old Shashi Shekhar Prasad from Karakpur, West Bengal, after he drowned following a fall into the sea while parasailing off the Colva coast on Tuesday evening. He was declared brought dead upon arrival at the Hospicio Hospital in Margao.
Shashi was down in Goa to attend a conference of cloth merchants in a starred hotel at Utorda. He is survived by his wife Preeti (42), daughter Khayali (15) and son Sarthak (12).
The incident occurred around 4.45 pm when Shashi, along with his wife, had gone for a boat ride but instead opted for parasailing as boat rides were not available at Colva. The fastening rope snapped barely 50-100 metres after the takeoff and Shashi fell into the sea.
Eyewitnesses said that the life jacket worn by Shashi came off. They said that he remained in the water for nearly ten minutes before help could arrive after which he was brought onto the shore by locals and efforts made to revive him before being rushed by lifeguards to a hospital. Eyewitnesses said that the weather was pretty rough and the wind pattern changing frequently. However, the water sports operators ignored the changing weather conditions and continued with the activities, they said.
Recounting the tragic incident, wife of the deceased, Preeti, said that she and her husband had come to Goa along with a group of 34 members from West Bengal to attend the conference and had landed in the state on May 22. She said her husband had returned from the conference around 3.30 pm on Tuesday and wanted to go for a boat ride, while she wanted to proceed to Panaji for shopping. Conceding to her husband’s demand, she went to Colva along with him around 4.30 pm. However, Shashi was disappointed as boat rides were not available there.
She said that the water sports operators suggested that he could try parasailing to which she had objected as he was hefty. However, the water sports operators assured them that people much ‘heavier’ could also go parasailing. She said, “Barely after taking off, may be after covering about
100 metres or so, he suddenly fell into the water. We cried for help but no help arrived for nearly ten minutes. Finally, he was brought onto the shore and rushed in a lifeguard jeep to a hospital, only to meet 108 ambulance on the way. He was transferred to the ambulance and taken to a private hospital where they refused to admit him. Later, he was taken to Hospicio Hospital where he was declared brought dead.”
Sources in Colva police said that so far a case of unnatural death has been registered while investigations are on to ascertain if the mishap occurred due to negligence on the part of the water sports operator. Police said that the statements of the kin of the deceased have been recorded. They said that the body has been kept for post-mortem examination at the Hospicio Hospital.
Meanwhile, the mishap has raised several questions on the safety of water sports activities being carried out on the state’s beaches. A domestic tourist R
Krishna (name changed) said that the weather in Goa has been changing since the last few days but no precaution has been taken by the authorities to stop the water sports activities as the monsoon is round the corner.
Another tourist Ajai, who was an eyewitness to the mishap, said that the sea was rough when the incident occurred. “Waves were lashing the shore and the wind pattern was changing constantly. Besides, I had also heard that the water sports activities were to draw to a close by May 15. The authorities should investigate if the mishap could have been avoided,” he said.