Of the four youngsters from Thane who ventured into the sea off the Kashid beach, the lifeguards rescued two girls, Harshada More and Preeti Kadam. Both have been admitted to Alibaug Civil Hospital and are critical.
The Kadam family, who lives in Shivai Nagar, said the seven college friends had left home around 6 am on Sunday. “All of them are working but they were in touch since college. They decided to catch up and spend a day together,” said Kadam’s uncle Shivaji. One of her brothers dropped her at Vartak Nagar from where the group left for Murud in a hired car.
The other two friends, however, could not be rescued in time. “The lifeguards managed to pull out Nilesh Gaonkar soon. He was alive when he was rescued. But water had entered his lungs and when the lifeguards tried pumping out the water, he threw up what he had eaten. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead within minutes,” said police inspector Sanjay Patil.
Prerna Khamkar was swept into the sea and the lifeguards recovered her body more than an hour later, when it floated ashore. Post-mortems were conducted at Revdanda Rural Hospital, from where Gaonkar’s body has already been claimed by his family. The Khamkars, residents of Vartak Nagar, were on their way to the hospital.
Once the speedboat service, used to take picnickers into the sea for entertainment, resumes, Patil hopes there will be fewer deaths. “The speedboat is not operational during the monsoon. We will resume the service next month. Hopefully, we will be able to save more people from drowning by reaching them quickly.”