Who is responsible for drownings at Marina pool?
Lack of parental supervision, safety and lifeguards measures at the swimming pool main reasons for several fatalities, say stakeholders to DT Next
CHENNAI: Swimming pools in Chennai continue to be a death knell for toddlers, despite rules and regulations.
Lack of supervision and poor safety awareness among parents had emerged as main reasons for such fatalities involving kids.
The irony is that there’s a standard operating procedure to be followed for every pool, be it private or government maintained, but the lack of life guards or supervisors are challenges difficult for even authorities to address, admit insiders.
“Following the recent death of a five-year-old in a swimming pool maintained by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT), the Corporation and the CMDA are likely to revisit the pools in the city and check for safety lapses,” a top official in Ripon Building.
This confirms the theory that the CMDA is all set to sanction additional funds to study and enhance the safety parameters in city pools. “Supervision of parents or lifeguards is crucial. Earlier, when the pool was maintained by the Public Works Department (PWD), there was no time restriction and shortage of lifeguards. And due to lack of monitoring, there were accidents,” said T Chandrasekaran, president, Tamil Nadu Swimming Association.
After the pool was handed over to SDAT, the entry fee was increased to Rs 118 per hour. “
ities ensured that a time system was followed to prevent mishaps in the pool. There were adequate lifeguards in swimming pools maintained by the government,” he added.
The swimming coaches advised that those who have health issues such as seizure, heart disease should not swim. “Those in-charge of pools should ask if people have any health problems and know swimming. However, not many would disclose their health issues, and, this compromises pool safety,” said a well-known swimming coach in the city. “Overcrowding and congestion during public holidays is also an issue that poses threat to non-swimmers.”
A senior official at SDAT stated, “We maintain 4 swimming pools in the city. Only 1 accident has been reported at the Anna pool in a decade. The number of accidents in pools has decreased.” But, neither SDAT nor the GCC have data on the number of drownings in the pools, as the city police writes them off as ‘unnatural death’.