The Bold Voice of J&K

Drowning incidents on rise in Kashmir amid hot weather

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MASROOR AHMAD

SRINAGAR: Kashmir is witnessing a disturbing rise in drowning incidents this year, with 35 cases reported from January to July 2024. This marks a huge increase, compared to the corresponding period last year, which saw 22 drowning incidents.
According to data, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) has launched 73 rescue operations so far this year.
The highest number of incidents occurred in June 2024, with 11 drowning reported during the month. This is in stark contrast to the entire year of 2023, which recorded a total of 48 drowning incidents and 92 rescue operations.
The recent rise in drowning cases is attributed to the increasing frequency of hot weather, driven by climatic changes. The scorching temperatures have led many people to seek relief by bathing in local water bodies, a trend that has proven fatal on several occasions.
According to officials, there are ongoing rescue operations to retrieve bodies from water bodies where people drowned while bathing. A recent tragic incident occurred in Srinagar, where an 11-year-old boy drowned in the Jhelum River at Habba Kadal while attempting to cool off. His body was retrieved after a week. Deep diving experts from SDRF were roped in to recover the body, and the assistance of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was also sought for the extended rescue operation.
In north Kashmir, two youths lost their lives in separate drowning incidents on Thursday. Concerned citizens have emphasized the need for heightened vigilance and preventive measures along the banks of water bodies, especially the Jhelum River. They have urged parents to supervise their children and prevent them from swimming in water bodies.
Public awareness campaigns and increased safety measures are needed to prevent further tragedies, they said.
Notably, most of the time, the SDRF ropes in the NDRF and other concerned agencies to aid them in extended rescue operations.

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