Four tourists drown as boat capsizes in Kerala
Four tourists from Tamil Nadu drowned when an overcrowded houseboat capsized in the backwaters of Alappuzha Saturday noon. The victims, three women and a minor girl, were part of a 61-member tourist group from Chennai.
According to the police, the group had booked a large houseboat for a cruise. Since the wide-bodied boat could not be anchored at the jetty, they were asked to get into a small boat, which worked as a bridge between the jetty and the large boat.
The small houseboat, anchored at the jetty for maintenance, had the capacity to carry only six passengers. However, around 30 persons climbed into the small boat at once, causing its overturn.
After the Thekkady boat tragedy of 2010, life jackets and buoys had been made mandatory for houseboats also. But the operators had flouted the safety guidelines. The government has ordered a probe into Saturday's incident.