Panaji, Jan 8:
An Indian tourist and a German national have been bitten apparently by sea snakes, locally called ‘hichan’, or some sea creature while swimming off Goa’s popular Calangute beach, a lifeguard agency and a hospital told IANS on Sunday.
The two incidents occurred off Calangute beach on Tuesday but were not reported to the police.
“On Tuesday (January 3) afternoon, an Indian tourist was bitten by a hichan. These sea snakes appear close to the shore during winter and some of them are aggressive and sometimes attack,” lifeguard Amit, who was on duty at the Calangute-Candolim beach stretch, told IANS.
“We gave him first-aid to treat the bite after pulling him out from the sea,” Amit said, adding that lifeguards have also sighted several sea snakes or hichans off the beach over the past few days.
The incident was also confirmed by Prabhakar Pandey, General Manager of the Drishti Beach Management Services, which has been appointed by the Goa Tourism Ministry for lifeguard services on the popularly frequented beaches of the state’s 105-km long coastline.
On the same day, German tourist Clare Arni was also bitten by a sea creature, possibly a big fish.
Clare, who was administered 28 stitches to sew up the bite wound on her leg, was swimming beyond the breakers at Calangute beach when the attack took place.
“Clare was admitted to our hospital as an OPD (Out Patient Department) case. It was clearly a wound resulting from a bite by a big fish. She was given the required suturing and medication and later discharged from the hospital as she had to leave for Bengaluru urgently,” a spokesperson for Bosio Hospital in Calangute said.
There was no response from the state Tourism Department when contacted to find out whether any precautionary measures are being undertaken or a cautionary alert has been issued to tourists and locals in the area over the attacks in the sea.
Tourism Director Sanjeev Gauns Dessai couldn’t be reached over phone. (IANS)