Cyclone Nisarga: 'We'll be on high alert for 48 hours,' say Versova beach lifeguards
Lifeguards at Versova beach, who have already been on watch for the past 24 hours, will continue for 24 hours more, to keep people away
With more than 19,000 people in the state having been evacuated by the authorities as of Tuesday noon, lifeguards deployed at Versova beach were asked by their superiors to remain on high alert by for 48 hours (June 3-4), as cyclone Nisarga continued to lash Maharashtra.
The main entrance to the beach had been cordoned off since the lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi back in March. The two lifeguards present at Versova beach on Tuesday morning, namely, 30-year-old senior lifeguard Ravi Wadhwe and his 29-year-old junior Nikhil Bhanji, both residents of the nearby village, said that they would have to be extra vigilant between Wednesday and Thursday. The duo were holed up in a makeshift shed made of tin sheets located at the entrance of the beach, to keep an eye out.
"Some people came in the morning to take pictures and said that they were press photographers, but when we asked them for ID proof, it turned out that they were college students," said Wadhwe, speaking to mid-day, as the incoming high-tide lashed against the Versova rocks.
"We have been given strict instructions to not let anyone go into the water or even close to it. We usually have a slow day but for the next 24 hours as well, we have to be on high alert," he said. Bhanji said that there were a total of 10 guards who manned the entire Versova beach.
"We have been told not to allow any kind of tourist activity around the beach today and tomorrow. No one should be allowed to stand near the water," he said.
Total no. of lifeguards manning Versova beach
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