Every year, numerous individuals embark on boat trips, be it for fishing or leisure. It is crucial to adhere to particular safety protocols while sailing to reduce risks. These measures encompass the use of life vests and restricting the number of passengers aboard. Neglecting to comply with these guidelines can result in accidents with potentially catastrophic outcomes.
In Vadodara, India, a school organized an excursion to Harani Lake for both teachers and students. Unfortunately, the outing took a tragic turn as the boat, carrying over twenty individuals, overturned. Promptly, local residents initiated rescue efforts for the children even before official assistance arrived.
According to India Today, the distressing incident resulted in the loss of at least 13 students and two teachers, with reports indicating that none of them were equipped with life jackets. Through the combined efforts of locals and fire service personnel, 11 students were successfully rescued.
Responsibility for the incident is attributed to the boat contractor, as authorities assert that the individual permitted a number of passengers exceeding the specified maximum capacity of 16. The unfortunate victims in this tragedy were children aged between 7 and 13.
The Chief Minister of Gujarat state in India, Bhupendra Patel, who inspected the accident site, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that a thorough investigation into the Harani Lake incident would be carried out by the Vadodara District Magistrate.
હરણી તળાવની દુર્ઘટનાની ઉચ્ચસ્તરીય તપાસ કરવાનો નિર્ણય રાજ્ય સરકારે કર્યો છે. આ ઘટનાની વડોદરા જિલ્લા મેજિસ્ટ્રેટશ્રી દ્વારા તપાસ હાથ ધરવામાં આવશે.
આ દુર્ઘટનામાં થયેલ બેદરકારી અક્ષમ્ય છે. કયા સંજોગોમાં, કયા કારણોથી અને કોની બેજવાબદારીના લીધે આ ઘટના બની તેની તપાસ કરવામાં આવશે.
— Bhupendra Patel (@Bhupendrapbjp) January 18, 2024
#WATCH | Vadodara boat capsize incident | Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel along with Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi met the injured in the boat capsize incident, at SSG hospital in Vadodara.
(Source: Gujarat Information Department) pic.twitter.com/GflMVFShkN
— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2024
The Indian government, as mentioned by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, is providing financial support to the families affected by the tragedy. He stated that families of the deceased would be given Rs 4 lakh (approximately $4,800), while the injured individuals would receive Rs 50,000 (slightly over $600).
Regrettably, boat mishaps are not uncommon occurrences in India. The overcrowding of boats has been a recurring factor contributing to numerous accidents in recent years. In May 2023, a double-decker boat, with over 30 passengers onboard, overturned, resulting in the tragic loss of 22 lives in Kerala state, a well-visited tourist destination.