Kerala boat accident

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The recent boat accident in Kerala, India, that resulted in the death of 22 people and left several others injured, has exposed regulatory malpractice, oversight, and negligence. The operator of the tour boat, Atlantic, violated several safety rules, including carrying an overcrowded vessel with passengers well beyond the stipulated hours. The boat was a converted fishing vessel and was carrying at least 30-40 passengers, far beyond its capacity. Eyewitnesses reported that the boat operators continued to invite more people to join the trip despite the boat being overloaded.

The incident took place around 7 pm near an estuary in Thooval Theeram Beach in the Tanur area, where the boat eventually capsized. The owner of the boat, Nasar, was caught from the Kozhikode beach area after a 24-hour manhunt. The boat was carrying 40 passengers, well beyond its capacity, which made it tilt to one side, causing the accident. The accident occurred while passengers were returning from the trip, and the first rescue boat took almost 15 minutes to reach the spot due to a lack of light.

Despite several fatal boat accidents in Kerala over the last 100 years and three Commission of Inquiry reports recommending preventive measures, lack of government intervention resulted in the boating tragedy. A district disaster management authority in a meeting in February this year reportedly warned of illegal boat operations. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan visited the Taluk Hospital, Tirurangadi in Malappuram district, where survivors of the boat tragedy near the Tanur coast were admitted. The Kerala government ordered a judicial probe into the incident and announced Rs one million compensation to the kin of victims and said the government will bear the treatment expense of the injured.

In conclusion, the boat accident in Kerala has once again highlighted the urgent need for stricter regulations, better oversight, and enforcement of safety measures to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future. The government needs to take swift action and implement the recommendations of previous inquiries to ensure the safety of tourists and prevent such incidents from happening again.

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