21-year-old drowns at Aksa, friend saved by lifeguards

In yet another incident of drowning at Aksa beach, a 21-year-old person lost his life, while a lifeguard fortunately saved his friend, early morning on Friday. The deceased has been identified as Ankit Shekharwal (21).

80 people drown every day in India: Report
Representational picture

Also read: Picnic at Aksa turns fatal; two drown, 1 missing

He used to go to Aksa with his friends to enjoy the breeze and experience the sunrise. Originally from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Shekharwal was staying on rent in a flat in Andheri (west) for the past one and a half years with his friends and was pursuing an animation course.

On the fateful day, Shekharwal’s friends — identified as Mayank Sen, Shashank Gupta and Aditi Gupta — went to Aksa beach at around 7 am. All the four friends were in the water, but Shekharwal and Sen ventured deep inside the sea. The duo was pulled in by the waves.

The other two friends saw them drowning and got out of the water immediately. They alerted the on-duty lifeguard Sawatej Kolamkar and Nathuram Suryawanshi (who was not on duty). Both swung into action and managed to pull out Sen alive. Sen told mid-day, “We have come to Aksa earlier as well. We reached here around 7 am.

Ankit knew how to swim. He had gone in deep. The water level had reached above his waist. Suddenly, the water level rose and the current started pulling us in. Ankit was unable to get out of the water. He was completely engulfed and was struggling hard to come out.

I was battling for my own life. For around 25 minutes, we were struggling in the sea. The lifeguards heard our cries and managed to save me. They spotted Ankit but couldn’t do much.” Nathuram Suryavanshi, the lifeguard who was not on duty, had been alerted and rushed to the spot.

He tried to save Shekharwal but couldn’t locate him. Suryavanshi managed to spot him almost an hour later, and Shekharwal was rushed to the Shatabdi hospital in Kandivli (east) where he was pronounced dead on admission. A case of accidental death due to drowning has been registered with the Malwani police.

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