mid-day editorial: Recklessness could land you in deep water

By  mid-day correspondent | Posted  02-May-2017

The holidays turned tragic for four doctors from Solapur, who drowned in Pune after their boat capsized this weekend. A team of 10 doctors were on vacation there, when their boat turned turtle due to strong winds. Six of them swam to safety, but the other four were not so lucky.

While that drowning story had a tragic end, another drowning story had a happy one, after two children were rescued from a pond in Airoli forest in the nick of time by two commandos from Thane police's Quick Response Team (QRT). The boys were with their friends when they went too deep into the pond, even after they were warned not to do so. Not too long after, two commandos who were undergoing training nearby heard their screams. They jumped into the pond and saved the boys.

Happy as this ending was, there's no denying that it was sheer luck that the boys were saved. Look at the worrisome familiar patterns. These boys were contemptuous and, in fact, dismissive of warnings about swimming too deep. They had a misplaced sense of safety and security, with the typical recklessness and immature assurance of the young that nothing ever can happen to them.

Now that exams are over and summer holidays are upon us, our beaches are crowded with revellers and tourists, many frolicking in the waters without a care in the world. They do not heed lifeguards' warnings or danger signs. They throw caution to the wind in order to score a selfie.

We are all for enjoying a summer day at the beach, but hope that people heed warnings from lifeguards and, most of all, respect nature and its power. The water can hold terrors you never knew. Many times, it is a lesson learnt too late. These boys were fortunate enough to be rescued. Others may not be so lucky.

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