Monday July 14 afternoon, a 70-year-old woman, Kalpana Bhattacharya, resident of Hiranandani Powai, was swept into the sea off the Marine Drive promenade during high tide time.
The senior citizen had left home in the morning and had gone to Marine Drive, maybe to enjoy the high tide in South Mumbai. According to newspaper reports, some hawkers saw her struggling in the sea at noon time. There were a couple of lifeguards present but they could not prevent her from getting washed away, because of the strong tides. Her body was taken out a few hours later.
This is once again a warning to Mumbaikars that they may want to enjoy the high tide, but they have to do so at a very safe distance. Sitting and walking on promenades, on rocks that jut out into the sea, and climbing over tetrapods (many of these are present at Marine Drive) can be disastrous and even deadly as we have seen.
Despite so many newspaper reports and warnings, attempts to deter people by the police patrolling near the promenades, we see that people are simply refusing to heed warnings. They are perilously close to the sea or balance themselves on rocks and railings.
Suddenly huge waves, common during high tides come along and sweep them away. They are powerless against the speed and force of the water. Recently too, a young man was washed away into the sea at Marine Drive during high tide. He was there with his friends for a birthday celebration and they were sitting on a rock, when a huge wave struck.
One cannot put the blame on lifeguards and authorities. After all, there are numerous reports and warnings about venturing into the water. The onus is on the people to heed them.
While the authorities are doing all they can, maybe, they can up the awareness ante by running ads and roping in celebrities who warn people of the dangers of what they are doing, However, in the end, the onus lies on the person. Enjoy Mother Nature, but at a safe distance.