What caused the Kerala boat tragedy?

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Thiruvananthapuram:  Initial reports on the investigation into the Kerala boat tragedy that claimed 45 lives reveal that the disaster could have been caused by an inexperienced boat driver.

A final report is, however, awaited.

An embarrassed Kerala government is mum on the investigation report but has meanwhile re-written its tourism rules.

Here are some safety rules the government has decided to implement strictly:

·    Every boat used for sight-seeing is going to be checked in the next 10 days.  

·    Each boat will have to get its "fitness certificate" renewed every six months.

A rescue boat will be anchored at all tourist-landing points.

·    Every 25 tourists will have at least one life guard on the boat.

·    Life jackets will be compulsory henceforth for all tourists. If any tourist does not wear it, then he or she will have to fill a declaration form 

·    Every boat will have a medical kit

In last week's tragedy at the Thekkady lake, nobody on the boat was wearing a life-jacket, even though they were available.

Earlier, officials said the boat capsized after tourists rushed to one side hoping to spot wildlife at the Periyaar preserve.

Boating at Thekkady, one of the state's most popular tourist spots, has been suspended till a legal inquiry is completed.

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