All tourist boats to undergo safety check in Kerala

October 5th, 2009 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 5 (IANS) All boats at tourist destinations in Kerala would undergo a safety check to ensure the vessels are in good condition, state Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said here Monday.
“This would be done in the next 10 days and once we receive the report we would consider floating a law in this regard,” Balakrishnan said after meeting with Minister of Irrigation N.K. Premachandran and Forests Minister Binoy Viswam.

This meeting was the first after the tragedy last Wednesday which left 45 tourists dead when a boat owned by the Kerala Tourist Development Corporation capsized on the Thekkady lake.

Among other decisions that were taken during the meeting was that henceforth all those under the age of 15 must wear a life jacket and those above 15 who do not wear one have to give an undertaking as to why they are not doing so.

It was also decided to have a rescue boat with all medical facilities at each boating destination and for every 25 passengers on a boat, one life guard would be employed.

A team of the crime branch looking into the Thekkady accident have arrested the boat driver and his assistant and they have also found that the boat, even though a new one, had inherent problems.

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