A Sunday picnic turned extremely tragic for a group of 23 youth from Candolim village and Mapusa town at the Keri beach as four among them drowned.
The lifeless bodies of a 24-year-old male Mohammad Ali and 17-year-old girl Shakina Khatun were fished out by Drishti rescuers but despite CPR and rushing them to a health centre, it was all futile.
The search for the other two from the group -- a girl and a boy aged 16 and 12 -- was still on till late Sunday night.
Group were knocked over by a sudden wave
Tragedy struck the group around evening on Sunday when some from the group were knocked over by a sudden wave which swept a rocky area at the sea-end of the beach.
According to Drishti, the agency tasked with beach safety and rescue by the State government, the group was headed towards Arambol from Keri, when a set of four retreated to a rocky area ostensibly to take selfies. The sudden wave then swept them into the sea.
Another from the group, Asif, who rushed into the waters in a bid to save his friends suffered injuries and is admitted to the Goa Medical College and hospital, Bambolim.
"Signages with cautionary ‘No Selfie Zone’ warnings of danger were ignored and the four victims ventured towards the rocky area," Drishti said in a statement.
The rescue operation by the Drishti lifesaver on duty who also simultaneously called for back-up couldn't save the day.
A jet ski was also used to search for the four but only two of them were brought to the shore.]
Lifesavers administered CPR
"The team of lifesavers administered CPR and they were rushed to the nearby health centre in the 108 ambulance," Drishti said.
However it proved too little too late.
Drishti said apart from the signages, declaring such areas unsafe, their lifesavers also make announcements at regular intervals through the day.
Police teams led by Pernem PI Dattaram Rawat and Mopa Police Inspector Ninad Davilkar, lifeguard and other officers were at the site to take stock of the situation.
Meanwhile Congress spokesperson Amarnath Panjikar termed the incident "unfortunate" but slammed the government.
"Crores are spent on beach safety by tourism department but where were the lifeguards and tourist guards when this unfortunate incident happened," Panjikar asked.
He said, the Congress demands that a high-level inquiry should be conducted into the incident along with an audit of the manpower and equipment engaged by the beach safety contractor.
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