Aksa Beach claimed three young lives on Sunday as three boys from Malad who had gone to the beach perished while swimming in the sea. The three victims were Darshan Dalvi (23), Rakesh Nalawade (22), and Mayuresh Naik (21). They were part of a group of nine Malad residents who had travelled to Aksa for a game of cricket.

After the game, eight from the group went into the sea for a swim, presumably to cool off, given the temperatures in the city. This was not long before three of them were sucked into deeper waters, never to return. Reports say that locals saw the boys flailing in deep waters and they raised an alarm. Some eyewitnesses state that there was one lifeguard who was making some effort to rescue them, but it was a case of too little too late. The boys drowned and fire brigade personnel who launched a search operation soon after recovered their bodies.

While this is a huge tragedy given that young lives have been so unnecessarily cut short, it is also a depressingly familiar picture. Aksa Beach is dangerous and so are numerous other beaches here. Currents are deceptive and can turn life threatening in seconds.

People need to heed cautionary signs and not venture out into the sea. Even the best of swimmers are no match before the mighty sea. Revellers caught up in the moment, wade out into the sea disregarding all warning signs. While our beaches also need more lifeguards and better life saving equipment it is up to the people to understand that notices have been put up for a reason. A complete disregard for rules turns a Sunday of fun into a lifetime of mourning. Warning signs are not flippant decorations on a beach. They are there for a reason. Respect them.