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Goa beaches to get trained dogs, AI-powered systems for safety operations

A team of 11 dogs, called the 'paw squad', is being trained, and it is a first-of-its-kind initiative in Asia


BS Web Team New Delhi

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An official agency tasked with lifesaving operations in Goa said on Friday the state beaches will be soon equipped with trained dogs to spot and rescue people and locate missing children. 

According to a PTI report, a team of 11 dogs, called the 'paw squad', is being trained, and it is a first-of-its-kind initiative in Asia, the Drishti Marine official said in the presence of state tourism minister Rohan Khaunte.

According to the report, "They are being trained to spot and rescue victims in distress, search, and rescue in rocky areas and locate missing children at the beaches. The paw squad is being trained by canine expert Arjun Shawn Moitra and will be deployed first at high-density beaches."

The decision comes days after the news of two people drowning in Goa came to light. On April 23, two died while two minors were reported missing after a group of four people were swept away by a wave while they were allegedly clicking selfies on Sunday evening.

Commenting on the recent incident, Amarnath Panjikar, Congress media cell chairman said that the recent drowning incident has once again exposed the beach safety contract as a scam of the tourist department. The incident proves that the contractors have not deployed enough lifeguards on the beaches.

The spokesperson from Drishti Marine also added that they were giving the final touches to two Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms, namely, Aurus and Triton, to assist lifesavers at beaches.

According to an Indian Express report that cited Drishti Marine, "beaches in North Goa accounted for the highest number of rescues by lifesavers, with 167 rescue operations being conducted in waters off Calangute beach followed by 113 rescues at Baga. 

Both Aurus and Triton can monitor the surroundings, assess risks, and are capable of sharing real-time information to help on-duty lifesavers respond faster.

(With inputs from agencies)

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First Published: Apr 28 2023 | 11:31 PM IST

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