PANAJI: Despite warning of cyclone ‘Nilofar’ hovering along the North West Arabian sea, a private catamaran was seen operating from Mandovi river upto Aguada fort for a ‘dolphin ride’. However, some cruise services were found adhering to the safety norms while some were not.
Two of such cruise boats, loaded with tourists-domestic as well as foreigners, were seen flouting safety norms issued by the tourism department; on the other hand, customers of Joey’s cruise boat were seen wearing lifesaving jackets.
Even the crew members of Joey’s cruise service boat were seen using lifesaving jackets as per the norms issued by the authorities while two other boats sailing in deep sea farther from fort Aguada had thrown all caution to the wind despite Tuesday’s tragedy at Canaguinnim.
A lady staffer at the counter of Joey’s cruise service said it appears that the incident happened due to overcrowding and also the ill-fated boat may have ventured deep into the sea during high tide.
She said that “despite cyclone warning we still get bookings from individuals and families though our boat does not venture too far into the sea.” Moreover, she said their customers are being provided lifejackets and their safety is ensured by a lifeguard onboard the boat.
During the daytime, the newly-started catamaran service makes a trip from river Mandovi upto fort Aguada whereas during evening hours it travels within three-kilometer radius till Miramar beach.
Meanwhile, the IMD has issued a warning of squally weather which is likely to prevail along and off the Goa coast due to the influence of storm.
The government has issued a strict warning to the fishing trawler owners instructing them not to venture into high seas in view of cyclone ‘Nilofar’ and at the same time suggested certain safety measures to the stakeholders of water sports and river boat cruise owners.
Police personnel, deployed at Miramar beach, informed that they have asked the boat cruise owners to strictly follow the norms issued by the tourism department.
Sources informed that boat cruise owners are supposed to provide lifesaving jackets to their customers and the crew members also.