At Elliot’s beach in Besant Nagar, a little away from the structure that stands in memory of a European sailor Karl Schmidt who lost his life while trying to save a girl from drowning about nine decades ago, a 20-year-old man from Nagpur, Maharashtra drowned when he and two friends tried to rescue two college students who were swept away by strong currents on Sunday evening.
A group of friends, all students of VIT Vellore, visited the beach on Sunday evening. Among them were two teenagers, Kavya (18) and Poornima (18). While the others waited on the shore, Kavya and Poornima decided to paddle in the water, said the police. However, as they were unfamiliar with the sea and tide, they were caught in a huge wave that resulted in them losing their footing. Seeing them drowning, their friends raised an alarm.
As they were drowning, Ankit (20) and Mayur Wadaskar (20) from Nagpur, and Anand (23) from Rajasthan heard their friends shouting and rushed to their rescue. They immediately jumped into the water to recue Kavya and Poornima. But they too were caught in the strong current and were sucked inside deep into the sea. Luckily for them, a police team on patrol saw them all drowning and immediately ran to their rescue with the help of local fishermen. They managed to pull all five back to the shore, and rushed them to government hospitals. Kavya and Wadaskar were sent to the Rajiv Gandhi Government hospital, where Wadaskar died later in the night without responding to treatment, said officials from the Shastri Nagar police station. The other three – Poornima, Ankit and Anand – who were sent to Government Royapettah Hospital are undergoing treatment there.
The police said the three youngsters had come to city after securing job as trainees at a private company in Ennore.
In another incident, this time at Akkarai beach, two college students drowned after being swept away by a giant wave. Balaji (20), student of a private college in Padur, and his friend Mahesh (19), also a college student from Semmenchery, had gone to the beach on Sunday evening. As they were swimming in the sea, a huge wave knocked them down and swept them away. Their bodies were washed ashore on Monday morning, said officials from Neelankarai police station, adding that they have registered a case.