Apam drowning incident avoidable

Last Sunday, the country lost 12 teenagers through drowning in the sea at Apam in the Central Region.

Reports say the teenagers were aged 14 to 17 years, which makes the incident sad beyond anyone’s imagination, because these were budding lives truncated together with all the potential society would have benefited from.

Media reports making reference to the police at Apam in the Gomoa West District say the 12 teenagers comprised 10 boys and two girls, while two were rescued. One of the two rescued, a 14-year-old boy, said they were more than 20 teenagers in the sea swimming when the incident happened.

Since this is a tragedy, emotions, particularly sorrow, would rise and make us ignore important issues about the incident.

Among the issues is the fact the children were well aware of the nationwide ban on activities at the beach due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic so, they took an illegal route through a lagoon to outwit the leadership of fishermen at the beach in order to get to the other side of the sea unnoticed to swim.

Analysis of this move alone tells a lot. First, the children defied the ban while they were alive because they could see adults defying it. They may have also heard adults dismissing the existence of the COVID-19 pandemic and all the conspiracy theories about it.

It is important therefore to note that adults, especially parents, should lead exemplary lives and be on the guard to rein in their children.

The incident also brings to the fore the problem of disobedience among our young ones. Probably, they thought they have the right to satisfy their egos without accepting that rights go with responsibilities.

The behaviour of most of our young ones, fuelled by the so-called human rights tenets to the neglect of our own traditional way of bringing up our young ones, is a recipe for chaos in the society in future.

Therefore, if nothing is done now, when this generation of young people become adults and take up the leadership of the country, the worse could happen.

The adult population now may have exited to eternity but they would be turning in their graves.

The attempt by the children to outwit the leadership pf the fishermen also shows how the adults, irrespective of who they are- even pastors, security personnel, politicians, auditors and other professionals- circumvent the rules for their selfish gains.

Unfortunately, in the case of the children, a heavy tidal wind swept them away while swimming to satisfy their ego and desires.

The Ghanaian Times believes that there should be such tidal winds in the form of laws and other checks to rein in the corruption and circumvention in our public system.

The Apam District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Moses Osakonor, has said the police and the local fishermen were surprised at the incident, since they had strictly enforced the ban on activities at the beach.

We are not experts, yet, we can say that nothing must be left to chance in matters of security and so even what sounds or appears far-fetched or absurd must be considered and taken care of.

Did it ever occur to the Apam police and fishermen that people could use the other side of the sea?

How often do criminals outwit our police or is it a case of neglect, oversight or a conspiracy with the security gatekeepers to make the grounds easy for crime to thrive?

One of the two surviving children says he was playing ball when his friends lured him into swimming. Peer pressure at play!

The drowning of the children must not be looked at as just an incident but a case for vigilance on the part of the children themselves, parents, community members and the police so that they would not let their guard down for the unexpected to happen.

The Apam incidents could have been avoided if all stakeholders had been diligent and watchful enough.

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