After reading MiD DAY's article on jet skis being used to save devotees from drowning during Ganesh visarjan, Australian ski centre invites lifeguards for interaction
The lifeguards at Juhu beach are agog with hopes of flying to Oz at the end of this month.
All thanks to an Australian who was intrigued with Ganeshotsav after reading a MiD DAY article on how jet skis were pressed into service to save drowning devotees during immersion. He has now invited the guards to be part of a jet ski training-cum-cultural exchange programme.
Safety ski-lls: D Bunty Rao, a Juhu lifeguard, can be seen next to one
of the two jet skis used for rescue operations at the beach.
After reading the report ('Jet skis to rescue drowning devotees', September 7) online, Simon Le Comte from Queensland in Australia, who owns K38 Rescue Australia, a worldwide jet ski rescue education centre, got in touch with the Juhu Lifeguards Association.
"I was googling jet skiing, which I sometimes do, and came across the article. The festival of Ganeshotsav fascinated me. But the fact that now lifeguards in Mumbai were using jet skis made me even more curious," Comte said. "I got in touch with some lifeguards from the Juhu Lifeguards Association and have invited them to come to Australia to acquaint themselves with the water safety measures we have. I see this as a cultural exchange that will benefit both the parties."
Comte runs K38 with his partners. The firm patrols beaches, besides teaching visitors how to surf and ski. Comte felt that befriending the Juhu lifeguards would be a step towards realising his aspiration of forming a global community of jet skiers.
Happy to oblige
Reacting to the invite from Oz, D Bunty Rao, a Juhu lifeguard, said, "It is really nice to be invited to Australia. We are aware of the high security and the water safety standards in Australia. Thanks to MiD DAY's article, we have got an opportunity to interact with them."
Subroto Mukherjee, another lifeguard, said, "We are discussing the possibility of sending two people to Australia. Let's see what happens. Comte has promised to help us out with visa and tickets. He is very keen that we get some experience from Australia and share ours as well."
Comte said, "Coming to Australia costs a huge amount of money, but we are trying to manage the trip for at least two people from India. Jet skis are very useful in saving lives, especially when there is little time at hand. I hope the interaction is helpful."
The Juhu Lifeguards Association got the jet skis in June from politicians Gurudas Kamat and Babloo Barudkar. They were trained on how to use them in Goa in July and have been using them regularly to patrol the beach adn conduct rescue operations for more than a month now.
Rao further said, "The invitation to Australia is a big honour for us and we are hoping to be able to help the Juhu beachgoers with what we learn from the interaction with K38 Rescue Australia."