High tide hijinks turned into a devastating tragedy yesterday, as a young man lost his life after being washed off the parapet at Marine Drive. Kalyan resident Ratan Chavan had gone to Marine Drive with friends to enjoy the high tide and got swept away from the edge into the sea. Though he was taken to the hospital, he succumbed later in the day.

The civic authorities have warned people and asked them to be careful during the high tide for at least a couple of days more. The waves will come up very high, way higher than usual, against the wall and the sea will stay very rough. They had issued warnings earlier as well against straying to close to the sea and frolicking on parapets as these can be very dangerous.

In the rains and during high tide, the parapets are already slick with water, making them particularly precarious. Caught up in the moment, it is easy to slip into the water. People also do not realise the power of these waves. One can get pulled into the water even if one is sitting on the parapet.

Rules flouted
There has been extensive media coverage about high tide for a few days now. News outlets have also stressed on the dangers and, especially, warned against going onto the rocks in the water. Either these are not being taken seriously enough or people do not understand the implications of flouting them.

We see rules being flouted routinely on our beaches too. Even if signs are put up warning of the dangers of going into the water, swimmers are seen venturing quite fat from the shore. If they are lucky, they are pulled out by lifeguards. The unlucky ones drown.

Respect nature’s power
It is time we learn to do two things respect nature and its power and adhere to rules. Yesterday’s incident was unnecessary and a tragic loss of a young life. Unfortunately, though, Ratan Chavan, is not the first and we suspect he won’t be the last.