The beach-resort state of Goa took a clue from “Baywatch” to protect swimmers that flock there for sun and fun. This season Goa hired more than 200 lifeguards, with their own towers, jeeps and jet skis to protect visitors from around the world who love to frolic in the waves.
Tourists relax on sunbeds at Baga beach in Goa
Now, the tourist-heavy state is borrowing from “CHiPs” — the cheesy 1970s television show about motorcycle cops in the California Highway Patrol. In response to a number of alleged rapes and murders of foreign tourists, it set up the Goa Tourism Security Force.
The force of around 50 people with military backgrounds started guarding the beaches and other hot spots from the middle of April – admittedly at the tail end of the tourist season, which falls off sharply when the monsoon arrives next month.
The patrols use a fleet of cars and 14 motorcycles “equipped with state of the art tracking and monitoring devices,” according to a news release from the state.
The state is also putting together a 24-hour helpline for tourists and a booklet to educate them in English, Russian and German about the basic rules of law and etiquette in the state.
Let’s hope the security force is as successful as the lifeguards at preventing holiday tragedies. So far this season, there have been fewer than 10 people killed on the beaches due to drowning. That’s down from an average of more than 70 annually in the past.
Source: WSJ.com: India Real Time