Sonu Chouhan (20) with the team that rescued him

Quick thinking by the patrolling officials of Colaba police saved the life of a 20-year-old, who accidentally fell into the sea during high tide early this morning. Instead of waiting for the fire brigade, the police used a bamboo stick found at the spot, and helped the drowning man to safety.

According to the police, the incident took place around 2.30 am this morning. The patrolling team of Colaba police was passing from the Radio Club, when they heard a man shouting for help. When they inched closer to the sea, the police team spotted a man drowning near Radio Club.

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The officials immediately informed the police control room, but decided to act before help could arrive. One of the constables picked up a 10 foot-long bamboo stick that was at the spot and hurled it towards the man. Meanwhile, a mobile van arrived at the scene and flung a rope in his direction. The heavy rain coupled with high tide, made it difficult to carry out rescue operations. However, they eventually managed to pull the man out of sea within 15 minutes. "Had we reached the spot around 5 to 10 minutes late, the man could have drowned," said Gauri Jagtap, sub-inspector at Colaba police station.

The rescued man was identified as Sonu Chouhan, a resident of Wadala. "Chouhan was sitting on the edge of the promenade at the Radio Club seaside, when a huge wave swept him into the sea," said Vijay Dhopaokar, senior inspector, Colaba police. He did not sustain any injuries.