Picturesque village

Palghar picnic tragedy claims 4 teenagers, 3 from Nashik

Palgar: In a tragic incident, 4 teenagers, including 3 from Nashik on a picnic, drowned on Kelwe beach while trying to rescue a 13-year-old boy who was being swept away by the strong currents of the a whirlpool at high tide here on Thursday. , police said.

A 17-year-old boy, Abhilekh Devare, who was also sucked into the swirling waters but could swim, was pulled ashore with a rope thrown by a local tongawala (cart owner), an official said.

The 3 victims were part of a group of 39 schoolchildren, including 11 girls, accompanied by 5 teachers, who arrived here in a tourist bus for a day picnic on the picturesque Kelwe beach when tragedy struck.

The deceased were identified as Deepak Vadkate, Om Vispute and Krishna Shelar, all aged 17, and residents of the Brahma Valley in Nashik, in addition to local boy Atharve Nakhre.

According to Palghar Dy SP Nita Padvi, picnickers were taking advantage of the secluded Arabian Sea beach, which is currently lined with sandbags piled up for a kilometer-long stretch to prevent erosion.

At that time, a local village boy, Atharva Nakhre, who was playing with his young friends, was trapped in the waters of the Arabian Sea when the level suddenly rose during high tide.

Hearing his cries for help, some of the Nashik boys jumped into the water to save him, but they couldn’t fight the currents and were swept into the Arabian Sea.

Their college mates and teachers cried out for help, but there was no one around on a weekday, although the tongawala, Rashid Khan, managed to reach and save a boy from the waters.

After several hours of searching by the police and local villagers, the bodies of all the victims were retrieved from the waters and after autopsy, will be handed over to their families, Patil said.

A local resident, R. Mukne claimed that in the past ten years, there have been at least 15 drowning incidents at Kelwe beach which is mostly deserted and frequented by a few towns like Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nashik, etc. .

The local village panchayat has erected warning signs and appointed two lifeguards to watch the beach, but many visitors prefer to go to the end of the beach and risk their lives where deadly whirlpools regularly form, he said. declared.

(IANS)