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6 days after pool accident, swimmer dies in hospital

A 22-year-old swimmer, who was rushed to hospital on October 18 after he sank to the bottom of the swimming pool in Dr D Y Patil College campus, died in hospital on Wednesday after battling for life over six days.

The swimming pool at Dr D Y Patil College campus, Abhimanyu Sawant
That sinking feeling: The swimming pool at Dr D Y Patil College campus where (inset) Abhimanyu Sawant drowned during his first practice session on October 18 

According to the Nerul police, Abhimanyu Sawant was a good swimmer and had taken a 1-year membership solely to practice in the pool, but tragically began to drown during his very first session.

He was taken out of the pool by lifeguards and admitted in the D Y Patil Hospital.

Rajkumar Chafekar, senior police inspector of Nerul police station, said, “On the evening of October 18, Abhimanyu went under in the swimming pool and was immediately pulled out by the lifeguards. He was then admitted to the ICU, but lost his life after battling for six days. He was declared dead around 7.30 pm on October 24. Prima facie, evidence shows that water had entered his lungs, which led to his death. However, the actual cause of death will only be clear once the post-mortem report arrives.”

Abhimanyu’s relatives claim that no lifeguards were present at the time of the incident. “We know that he was good swimmer and do not know how someone like him could drown. We have also come to know that no lifeguard was around when he started to go under. The lifeguards came minutes after this happened,” said a relative of the victim on condition of anonymity.

Abhimanyu had completed a degree in chemistry and was working with a private firm.

Meanwhile, D Y Patil College authorities refuted allegations that negligence on part of the lifeguards led to Abhimanyu’s death.

“The lifeguards were present near the pool, and that is why they were able to get him out immediately and rush him to hospital. He was given all possible treatment, but tragically he lost his life,” said Sham More, media coordinator of D Y Patil Group. 

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