KARACHI РJuly 24, 2005: MOUNTED police warn picnickers against going into the sea along the Clifton beach on Sunday. Eight people drowned off the Sandspit on Saturday morning.óDawn

This is completely baffling. Why do people insist on going to the beach despite repeated warnings by the Edhi Foundation and the local government that it is unsafe because of high tides? Even more surprisingly, its not just people who don’t have access to newspapers or local television – its pretty much everyone! When will people learn?

4 Comments so far

  1. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on July 26th, 2005 @ 12:57 am

    We will never listen, we are just a nation full of pig-headed morons.

  2. Mauham (unregistered) on July 26th, 2005 @ 9:35 am

    Because people don’t have many other things to do. Its cheap enjoyment , once you are in Clifton then you dont have to spend a penny. Its just ridiculous abondoning people of their sole enjoyment. Why not the government do some thing to stop those incidents. When I was in Chicago, the city government has so many life guards in Michigan lake in summer you could not imagine. They never asked people not to visit the lake.

  3. Babar (unregistered) on July 28th, 2005 @ 11:43 am

    Lake Michigan’s geographical anatomy is signficantly different from that of the Arabian Sea. To keep it simple, one is a sea and the other a lake. The Arabian Sea converges with the Indian Ocean currents and the ensuing pressures generated from the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. Lake Michigan, well it’s got itself and nothing else to deal with (except for the icing that occurs in the winter and the dumbasses that decide to skate on it when the ice is thin).

    By default, Clifton Beach and other beaches in Karachi are part of a section of the coastline that is generally considered pretty rough. The lack of massive rock formations or natural jettys ensures that lagoon like, mild current pools are not rampantly available. Therefore the local conditions, the geographical constraints, and the rough tides are a proposition that even the best of swimmers would not risk skirting with. Naturals currents, especially during certain months, and at certain time intervals (tidal transitions) can be extremely dangerous and their impact outdoes that of the human capacity to swim against them.

    One must remember that a lifeguard invariably puts his or her life at risk whenever he or she ventures out to save another life. Drowning victims have a natural tendency to bring down the saver with them. Luckily, lifeguards are aware of this predicament and trained to deal with it (ever wondered why they grab the victims hair and not the arms?). But a lifeguard should not have to put his life at risk for every other swimmer just because people have been signaled to swim in waters that are not, I repeat not, okay to swim in. A lifeguard should only be out at sea to prevent the odd mishap from occuring and that too he or she should ensure the safety of his or her own life first before that of the victim’s (this is considered rule numero uno!), or else you lose two lives. Not good.

    Having lifeguards at Pakistani beaches is fine, but to have them so that swimming can be regularized is absurd. Swimming in such waters is hazardous. Full stop. No number of lifeguards will be sufficient once swimming is made legal for all in such waters during such seasons. And mind you, the government has got a lifeguard scheme on in certain areas as a safeguard measure but more needs to be done. At Gadani and Hawkesbay (we’re moving out of Karachi), Balochi fisherman and local villagers are paid on a monthly basis to save drowning victims or to help in recovering dead bodies.

    Anyways, just for the sake of enjoyment, the government can not sanction an army of lifeguards to protect a senseless and dangerous adventure. Lifeguards ought to be there for the odd mishap, but it must be remembered that no Government in the world can protect its citizens from foolishness. That is upto the people to reject based on their own common sense. The government can only advise and does so fairly regularly. Swimming is just not done in these waters at this time of the year. End of story.

  4. abbas halai (unregistered) on July 28th, 2005 @ 9:46 pm

    this holds true for sandspit anyway, not sure about the other beaches, but if you ever find yourself caught in some bad water and get pulled out…firstly DON’T PANIC! (actually that part holds true for all beaches.) panicking makes you consume more air, and that usually translates into you swallowing more water. sandspit is unique in it’s tides that they aside from pulling you out, will also push you downshore. generally all tides around the sandspit area throw you back onto the beach after taking you out to sea in the eastern manora/keamari direction. it’s a matter of staying afloat and patiently waiting for the currents to bring you back on shore. never struggle with a current. this will end up just tiring you out. the human body is positively bouyant. you will always come back up for a few seconds to get enough air to hold you another thirty to forty seconds under.

    also one of my biggest beefs with desi’s going to the beach and going into the water is wearing shalwar’s while doing it. this causes the shalwar to get ballooned up with water and eventually causes a drag on you and weighs you down. if you’re ever in a problem situation in the water, strip immediately for your own safety. believe me ‘islam khatray main aanay say behtar hay kay tum khatray main na aao’. majority of the drownings on karachi beaches occur because the drowning peron gets weighed down by the water filled up in their shalwar and cannot struggle enough to stay afloat. this is also the reason why most people end up not coming up for air if they have been pulled under.

    just thought i’d post my rambles. the karachi beaches are very dear to me as i’ve spent the better part of my childhood there. they can be very safe and very enjoyable if measures are taken to educate the public about them.

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