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Rise in drowning incidents in Kashmir; 35 cases, 72 rescue ops this year so far

Srinagar, Jul 06: 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 same period last year, which saw 22 drowning incidents.

According to data obtained by the news agency Kashmir News Observer, 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 drownings reported in that month alone. This is in stark contrast to the entire year of 2023, which recorded a total of 48 drowning incidents and 92 rescue operations.

Many observers believe that 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 is yet to be retrieved. Deep diving experts from SDRF have been roped in to recover the body of the boy, and the assistance of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been sought for the extended rescue operation.

In north Kashmir, two youths lost their lives in separate drowning incidents on Thursday. Concerned citizens have called for 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—(KNO)

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