With each hour that passes, the hope of return of the girl lost at sea to her waiting mother dwindles. For the 30-strong group of men engaged in the search since Saturday, there is only one fear, returning home each evening with no answers to offer to the mother.
The fourth day of the search for the body of Tarannum Ansari, who vanished into the sea off Bandra Fort on Saturday began brightly. The discovery of the body of Ramesh Walunj, who had tried to save her, on Monday afternoon, strengthened the belief that she would be found soon.
But the rescue team members did not venture too far into the creek. “We will return on Wednesday morning when the tide is high and search the rest of the creek,” said Ishaq Ansari (25), Tarannum’s older brother.
With no Coast Guard helicopters and no sight of police boats, Ishaq and his friends have been combing waterfronts and beaches on foot and in the solitary boat hired with the help of a restaurant owner at Bandra Fort.
Tarannum (18), a first year student of commerce at SNDT College in Ghatkopar, and her friend Masturi Khan had slipped and fallen into the sea while taking a selfie with a third friend Anjum Khan on Saturday morning. While Anjum managed to pull Masturi out with the help of Walunj, who rushed there upon hearing screams of help, Tarannum was too far adrift even for Walunj, a trained swimmer, who did not survive the rescue attempt.
“Some eyewitness told us that Walunj’s body hit a pillar of the sea link and was carried by the waves towards Mahim while Tarannum drifted towards Worli. Those are the areas we are concentrating on,” said Anwar Jaffery, a close friend of Ishaq.