KARACHI: Despite a ban imposed by authorities on bathing and swimming in sea, four friends drowned at Hawkesbay beach on Sunday morning — a day after two boys drowned in a separate incident at the same beach — showing failure of administration to implement the curb.
Officials said that four bodies have been recovered so far while search for two more drowned persons was under way.
On July 25, the Karachi commissioner imposed a ban on swimming at sea in view of ongoing torrential rains and high tides at the sea till July 31 (Sunday). A notification stated that there was an apprehension that swimming, diving, bathing and boating in the sea/beaches might cause harm to public life and there’s “high risk of drowning incidents at sea”.
However, local administration and police had failed to implement the ban.
“We are doing our best and will try even more to save lives and implement the ban, but the people, especially bikers, are going from dirt roads to beaches which stretches in miles and are hard to cover,” Keamari Deputy Commissioner Mukhtiar Abro told Dawn.
Seven held for violating ban on swimming in sea; people avoid high tide warning as thousands head out to city beaches
On Sunday morning, four youths drowned at the ‘Turtle beach’ at Hawkesbay. They were all friends and residents of Liaquatabad. They have gone to the sea for a picnic when they drowned while swimming.
An Edhi Foundation spokesperson said that the bodies of two people had been recovered while strong waves had taken away two bodies and Edhi divers were trying to recover the bodies.
The Mauripur police said that the bodies of Nihal Hashmi and Ubaid had been recovered while search for Shahrukh and Fahad was under way.
Earlier on Saturday, the Edhi Foundation spokesperson said, two boys had drowned at Sandspit. Their bodies were recovered on Sunday morning.
They were identified as Mamun Karim, 15, and Mohsin Zahoor, 16. They were students and lived in North Karachi.
The Keamari DC told Dawn that their tutor had taken the teenagers to the beach through dirt road and the police had registered a case against him.
Three checkpoints set up
He said that the police had established three check posts at Sandspit, Manora and Hawkesbay, where policemen in 12 mobiles were deployed to stop people from going towards the sea.
Keamari SSP Fida Husain Janwari said the coastline was 20 kilometres long where thousands of people came on weekends. He said youths coming by roads were stopped and this resulted in heated arguments between the police and picnickers.
“When they are stopped from moving towards the beaches, the youths and teenagers go to nearby villages and use dirt roads to reach the sea,” he said, adding that many picnickers went deep inside the sea for swimming neglecting high tides, which resulted in tragedies, he added.
He said the police arrested seven persons on charges of violating the ban and FIRs had been lodged against them.
Meanwhile, a minor boy drowned in a pond filled with rainwater in Baldia Town on Sunday.
An Edhi Foundation spokesperson said that six-year-old Shadab Raza drowned in Rais Goth. The body was fished out and taken to a hospital for medico-legal formalities.
Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2022