The coastal town of Tanur, Kerala State, India suffered a devastating tide of tragedy on Sunday night when a double-decker boat, overloaded with over 30 people, capsized off the nearby beach. Unfortunately, 22 people lost their lives, including several children, and four others are in serious condition. The tourists on the boat had been excused from school for the day when the dreadful accident happened.
Search parties have been sifting through the murky waters in an attempt to find the missing passengers. The Indian National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Coast Guard are supporting the mission by lending resources and vessels. On Monday, the state’s Chief Minister, who expressed his sorrow for the tragedy, declared a day of mourning. Additionally, the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, proposed to reimburse the families of the victims.
Frighteningly, tragic boat accidents of this magnitude occur with alarming regularity in India, where most vessels don’t meet the safety criteria and tend to be overcrowded. As an example, 12 people drowned in September 2020 when their sightseeing boat was sunk due to an increased water level in the Godavari River, in southern Andhra Pradesh. Another 30 lives were lost back in May 2018 when a vessel sank in very same area.
The horrific accident in Tanur serves as a painfully harsh reminder of how fragile life can be, and reinforces the significance of embracing every moment. We offer our deep condolences to the families of the deceased, and wish a swift recovery to those still in harm’s way. This tragedy also calls for greater safety regulations for the boating industry in India.