Seven students and a college professor from Karnataka’s Belgaum district, who were out on a trip, drowned off the Sindhudurg coast Saturday. Four other students and another teacher were pulled out of water by local fishermen and have been hospitalised. “The students of Maratha Mandal Engineering College had come on a trip to Vayri.
Around noon, they ventured into the water for a swim. The local life guards warned them of a high tide and instructed them not to go far. But they were swept away by the tide,” said Amogh Gaonkar, Superintendent of Police, Sindhudurg district. “The deceased, including three girls and one of their male teachers, all of them in the age group of 20 to 22 years, were not trained swimmers,” he added.
The deceased have been identified as Muzamil Aniket, Kiran Khandekar, Aarti Chavan, Avdhoot, Nitin Mutnadkar, Karuna Berde, Maya Kolhe and the professor, Mahesh. The post-mortem revealed that they died as sand had entered their lungs. Three students were rescued by local fisherfolks and are currently under medical supervision at Malvan hospitals. One of them, Akansha Ghatge, is recovering at the ICU of the district hospital.
“The student arrived in a critical condition and was admitted to the ICU. She is responding to treatment now,” a hospital staff said. Ghatge’s parents, who live in Chiplun, rushed to Malvan after hearing about the incident. The teenager reportedly lives alone in Belgaum.
Pritam Chavan, Ghatge’s relative, said, “Her parents have just reached the hospital and they have spoken to her. She is responding well to the treatment.” The two other students who have been rescued are Sanket Gadvi and Anita Hanli.
The rescue operations, which continued for a few hours, were jointly conducted by fishermen, scuba divers and the local police. “We warned them not to go deep into the water. But they did not listen and went ahead to swim. After a while, we heard people screaming and few of us rushed in with our small boats to rescue them,” said a local resident. A case of accidental death has been registered at the Malvan police station.