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

A group of five friends had gone for an outing to Aksa beach; a lifeguard managed to rescue one of them, while another was saved as he did not venture into the sea

An outing at Aksa beach turned into a tragedy for a group of friends who entered the sea, when two of them drowned and a third is still missing. A lifeguard managed to save one of them. The other member of the group who survived had not entered the water because he was recovering from a minor accident.

Dipshika Gupta
The bodies of Dipshika Gupta and Hemant Sharma were found, but Shikhar Gaikwad is still missing

The deceased have been identified as Dipshika Gupta (20), a resident of Virar and a BMS student, and Hemant Sharma (22), a resident of Kalina, who was a student and worked as a recruiter in a firm. Shikhar Gaikwad (22), of Kalina, also a BMS student, is still missing. The girl who was rescued has been identified as Monica Fernandez (21), a Marol resident, and a BMS student of Bhavan’s College.

Hemant Sharma
Hemant Sharma

According to the only other member of the group to survive, Rahul Vishwakarma (22), of Kalina, “Five of us friends had decided to meet on Monday afternoon after college, and we had gone to Aksa beach for fun. All of them had gone into the water and suddenly they started drowning. I had met with a bike accident a few days ago and, so, hadn’t entered the water with them. But when I saw them drowning, I also entered the water and tried to help them.”

Shikhar Gaikwad
Shikhar Gaikwad

A distraught Vishwakarma further said, “A lifeguard managed to save Fernandez. She is out of danger and admitted to Shatabdi Hospital at Kandivli. But my other three friends Hemant Sharma, Dipshika Gupta and Shikhar Gaikwad drowned. I don’t know swimming. I tried to save them, but I failed. I lost all my best friends.”

A police officer from Malwani police station said the incident occurred at around 3 pm. The collegians had reached the beach at around 1 pm and none of them knew how to swim, police said. A fire brigade team, till late in the night yesterday, was still searching for Gaikwad.

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