Vacay with caution

Got an insatiable love for adventure? While it is a good thing to break away from the daily rut and take a detour from the mundane, adventurous escapades often come with a stationary ‘play with caution’ warning that most young and wide-eyed hashtag frenzied travellers are oblivious about. The recent unfortunate and tragic demise of Bengaluru girl (based in New York) Rohina Bhandary in a shark attack at Costa Rica has opened up a can of worms — about how lives are at risk, and unpredictability is at its peak, more so during poorly executed vacays. While investigation is underway, the financier’s fiance blames the diving establishment for her death. Even back home, instances of deaths over adventure turning awry are aplenty. While fancy getaways are proving to be fatal, we take a deeper look as ardent travel folk from the city share the inside track...

“Irrespective of how many times you’ve been to a place or tried an adventure sport, whenever there are safety instructions, it’s for a reason. And, it’s important to follow them,” begins 32-year-old Dhruva Krishna, a software professional and certified scuba diver. He adds, “I’m currently an advanced open water diver, and I vouch by the fact that it’s best to listen to your trainer. For beginners, my only suggestion would be — get inspired and NOT emulate you-tube videos. The idea is not to get people inspired, but look for your personal safety. Goa has comparatively shallow waters, and yet things can go awry. I noticed people nowadays overlook the importance of wearing a life jacket as it kind of comes in the way of achieving picture perfect vacay pictures on Instagram. Also, for those who could be sea-sick, it is best to eat light and steer clear of alcoholic beverages if you intend to go scuba diving.”

Actress Sanjjanaa, who frequently skydives strongly advises professional help. “The fact is that you drop off the cliff 3,000 km from the ground level, and the parachute opens only when you’re 1,000 km away. So all the way, it’s just a free fall, and doing so without a professional/expert company is downright risky. Do it with professionals and never do it alone. The message is to not take a place for granted.” While there are no fail safe-tips, a sharp mind to discern danger lurking is needed, Vandit Kalia, a city-based entrepreneur adds, “I think it’s always nice to have an expert on board in the group, if you’re going to be trying out an adventure sport. As much as going solo is big at the moment, refrain from throwing caution to the winds for the sake of adrenaline rush. Even places with shallow waters like Goa have rung in too many deaths over negligence. Also, research on the operator (select a good operator not the cheapest operator). Most amateur travellers overlook that. Ideally, swims tests and float tests are conducted before permitting an individual into an adventure ride/ sport. These arrangements help experts and yourself get an insight into how comfortable you are in water. Understand the briefings you get, ask questions if not clear and follow your guide’s advice and instructions. They know more than you and if you have picked a good operator, they are invested in making sure you have a fun and safe experience. This is a crucial step, and no matter how much of an expert you are, you shouldn’t forget to take these tests. There is a balance between pushing your limits and taking too large a leap.”

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