Surfing, jet skiing, paragliding, para sailing, windsurfing or even boating remain a distant dream for denizens of the city as well as tourists who throng the city’s vast beaches everyday, thanks to the lack of proper mechanism to promote adventure sea sports.Also, the once ambitious plan to set up an under-sea world, on the lines of the one in Singapore, to view aquatic life too is yet to see the light of the day.
Officials of Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation APTDC and Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority Vuda now say the absence of coral reefs would make the project unviable.Seshagiri Mantri, managing director of Vihar, a private facility licensed by APTDC to develop water sports, and an aquatic sports enthusiast, said, “Since Vizag beaches are dangerous in comparison to the beaches in Goa or Kerala, a lot of pre-requisites must be in place before deve
loping water sport facilities on the beaches. Safety aspects are essential and must include mandatory use of life jackets for whoever enters the sea, adequate rescue boats on every beach and a constant onshore and off shore monitoring system.
“Even if the security aspects are in place, only certain sports are feasible in Vizag such as water scooters or skiing, surfing, boating, banana rides on inflatable rubber boats, which can be tied to motorboats and pulled to the ocean, and yachting off Rushikonda beach. Again most of these need proper trainers and guides. Parasailing or gliding won’t be a good option because of the rocky, risky nature of Vizag
beaches, added Seshagiri.Vizagites also feel that apart from beautification of the city’s beaches by Vuda or development of beaches for tourism by APTDC, it’s essential that various public sector units adopt the beaches individually or in collaboration as part of their corporate social responsibility. “These companies can promote water sports or some adventure activities and supply life jackets to tourists at a nominal cost,” said Sushil Rao, a resident of Lawson’s Bay.
A Vuda official however said, “Marine scientists have studied the nature of beaches in Vizag and none of them have been found safe enough for adventure activities or aquatic sports and hence there’s no possibility of promoting water sports on a big scale.”