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It was the longest night of my life, says Pune man who fell into 150-ft gorge

Fortunately, I was stopped by a big boulder and I somehow managed to grab a nearby branch. The support of the branch and the rock saved my life

pune Updated: Jul 19, 2017 14:03 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,man,15-ft gorge
Ramesh Mane, an employee of Thermax India Ltd, had gone with his group of 8-10 friends to Madhe Ghat, famous for scenic waterfall, in Velha taluka.(HT PHOTO)

For 40-year-old Ramesh Mane, spending the night alone in a forest in an injured state was the most horrific experience of his life. However, he didn’t lose his presence of mind and managed to hold on to a branch for almost 16 hours.

“It was the longest night of my life, when I was counting every minute and was waiting for daylight. I knew someone would definitely come to rescue me in the morning,” said Mane, who is currently under treatment at Dhanshree Hospital, Chinchwad.

Mane, who lives in Indapur taluka, is an employee of Thermax India Limited since the past 18 years. Every year, his group of friends organise a picnic to nearby area. However, this time their picnic turned into a unfortunate incident as Mane slipped into a 150-foot gorge on Sunday evening and was rescued on Monday morning.

Recalling the horrific incident, Mane said, “When we were coming back to our vehicle, it was getting dark and the visibility was too low. Due to sudden rain, I was trying to keep my camera and mobile inside my raincoat and that was when I slipped. My friend was walking ahead of me, but due to fog he didn’t notice that I had fallen down. Due to the waterfall and rain, they could not hear me and kept walking ahead. The force of the water was so strong that it carried me away into the deep gorge. Fortunately, I was stopped by a big boulder and I somehow managed to grab a nearby branch. The support of the branch and the rock saved my life. Otherwise, I would have gone further down and then it would have been impossible for me to survive.”

Mane handled the situation maturely and decided to wait for help.“The area in which I was stuck was totally unfamiliar and due to the fall I had severe pain in my right hand and right leg. So it would have been a stupidity to find another escape route in such circumstances. I was sure about one thing that my friends would do their best to get help and rescue me. I understood that it’s going to be difficult for anyone to spot my location during night, so I just kept waiting for the sun to rise,” he said.

Mane’s friends contacted Pune trekker Sachin Gaikwad, who immediately rushed to the spot. However, he was forced to wait till the next morning.

“I had lost sensation of my hands and legs as I was in the water for an entire night. I was not able to walk so they carried me to the village and then to a local hospital in Velha. The doctors have diagnosed that I have a minor fracture on right wrist and right ankle. Luckily, there is no head injury, but I was unconscious for some time, if I remember correctly,” he said.

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 14:03 IST