A fisherman and a boatman were among those who risked their lives and managed to save six students
Murud: Two local fishermen were the heroes on Monday at Murud, where 14 students of Abeda Inamdar College, Pune, drowned at the beach.
Mohan Maku (left) and Ravindra Sakharkar (right), who dived into the sea to rescue six students at Murud. Pic/Shadab Khan
The incident happened during high tide around 4 pm. Fisherman Ravindra Sakharkar (34), who was in the vicinity when the tide swept away the students, did not think twice before jumping into the sea. Sakharkar, who was married only in June 2015, managed to save six people with help from others, according to eyewitnesses.
“At 4.05 pm a fellow koli came running, shouting that some kids were drowning,” Sakharkar told mid-day. “I immediately ran to the waters to save them. It was difficult, as the waves were big. I knew I had to battle the waves. Otherwise the kids would’ve died. I didn't count how many I managed to pull to safety.”
Battling the waves alongside Sakharkar was boatman Mohan Maku (56). Maku too endangered his life, taking his only source of livelihood into the choppy sea without a second thought.
“I took some men and went in with the boat,” said Maku. We saved some girls. When I realised how deep we were, I knew my boat was going to get damaged, but their lives were more important. And I knew I have good friends who will help me in need.”
As Maku dived into the sea, he found it particularly difficult to pull out one girl. When he ducked into the water, he found a boy clinging to the girl tightly, making it impossible for her to be rescued. “I had to go further in, and release the boy first. Then we went for the girl. Both were safely rescued thankfully,” said Maku.
The six rescued students are being treated at the Gramin Hospital, Murud. Yadavrao, the sub-district magistrate of Murud, said , “They are fine now.”
Prakash Mehta, guardian minister for Raigad, said, “The students were late to reach the picnic spot. So in the excitement they jumped into the water despite local vendors and tongawalas telling them to be cautious.”