Although neither knew how to swim, they plunged into the Tunga Lake when they saw their friend Sonu Kanojia drowning; no one survived

The fatal plunge: Abhishek More, Mayur Waghmare and Sonu Kanojia had gone for a picnic to Turgeshwari on Sunday to celebrate the Diwali bonus they had received from their employers

Two youths - Abhishek More (20) and Mayur Waghmare (17) - have passed the test of true friendship with flying colours: each was ready to sacrifice his own life to save a friend, 18-year-old Sonu Kanojia, from drowning in the waters of the Tunga Lake. The tragedy lies in the fact that neither of the three has lived to tell the tale.

The three had gone on a picnic with seven other friends to Turgeshwari on Sunday. At around 5:30 pm, More realised that Kanojia was drowning in the Tunga Lake. Without stopping to think, he plunged into its waters to rescue his friend. Far from rescuing Kanojia, More himself started drowning. The intrepid Waghmare then decided to jump in as well, and rescue his two drowning friends. Ironically, not one of the three knew how to swim, and breathed their last in the waters of the Tunga Lake, valiantly trying to rescue their friends.

Residents of Dayma Road in Bandra (East), the boys were accompanied by their friends Saurabh Chawla, Prakash Ved, Prakash Makwana, Swapnil Mohite, Kanhaiya Shah, Yogesh Narvekar and Atul. All the boys sold newspapers in their locality, and studied whenever they found leisure. The picnic was organised by them to celebrate the Diwali bonus they had received from their respective employers.

According to Prakash Ved, one of the friends who accompanied them, the group had originally planned to make an excursion to Vrajeshwari, but decided on Turgeshwari at the eleventh hour.

Chawla, another member of the excursion, recounted how they had repeatedly warned Kanojia against stepping into the lake. They had cited previous instances where visitors had drowned, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Once in, Kanojia started wading deeper and deeper into the lake, even as his friends cautioned him against it. Suddenly, Kanojia started flailing his arms and shouting for help.

None of his friends, however, knew how to swim and watched in mute horror as he started sinking. Unable to stand by helplessly as the lake engulfed their friend, More jumped in, followed by Waghmare. Realising that all three were drowning, a few locals leapt in to rescue them, but their efforts were in vain.

Once they were salvaged from the water, the three were then rushed to the Golden Park hospital in Vasai, where they were declared dead at around 7.15 pm. Their bodies have been sent for post mortem.