It appears that basic safety norms were flouted in the boat cruise as none of the passengers was wearing a life jacket.
Initial reports suggest that the boat capsized as the tourists were trying to catch a glimpse of elephants in the Periyar Wildlife Santuary surrounding the lake and moved to one side of the boat.
There was no professional guide on the boat, a safety requirement for tourist boat rides. Had there been a guide, the tourists could have been warned against doing that.
The disaster has once again brought attention to the issue of implementing safety standards for tourism services and boat cruises.