Mumbai: Four members of family and a friend drown off Ratnagiri coast during vacation

Jun 04, 2018, 17:45 IST | Suyash Karangutkar

Incident occurred on a stopover the Borivli residents made en route to Ganpatipule; locals managed to rescue 2 from the group

Policemen, friends and neighbours outside Megha Apartments
Policemen, friends and neighbours outside Megha Apartments

Had they heeded the words of locals, the D'souza family of Borivli would have been alive today. Four of the five family members who were on a vacation drowned off the coast of Ratnagiri last evening. Two family friends were part of the group, and one of them drowned as well.

The seven, reportedly on their way to Ganpatipule, had made a stopover at the Arey Ware beach and gone for a swim against the advice of local residents. The deceased have been identified as Raechal D'souza, 19, Mathew D'souza, 18, Monica D'souza, 44, Saloni D'souza, 22, and Keneth Masters, 54. The other two in the group — Monica's mother-in-law Rita and Keneth's wife Leena — were saved by the locals.

Monica D'souza with her husband Bento and children
Monica D'souza with her husband Bento and children

While the D'souzas had moved into Megha Apartments in Borivli, from Eksar village, in March, their friends, Masters, stayed in Silverstone building in Borivli West. Monica and her three college-going children perished in the tragedy along with the family's friend Keneth. Her husband Bento had died of cancer three months back. Neighbours in shock
The watchman at Megha Apartments said, "They had left at 5 am on Friday. They all had looked excited."

"Someone sent me the tragic news on WhatsApp. I left for their home immediately," said a family friend Suraj Molge. Although the D'souzas were new to the building, neighbours were in a state of shock as the news spread like wildfire. As several well-wishers and friends poured in, a resident of Megha Apartments, Odett Mendonca, who is an advocate, said, "They had moved in recently; we were just getting to know them. As soon as I found out about it, I informed our building treasurer..."

"The family — Monica, her mother-in-law and children — bought my flat in March. They seemed a happy family. This is extremely unbelievable and shocking," said Kamal Mangtani, who'd sold his Megha Apartments flat to the D'souzas.

Bodies to be released today
According to the Ratnagiri Gramin police, the incident occurred around 5 pm. Sources said the bodies, taken to Civil Hospital for a post-mortem, would be released early on Monday and were expected to reach Mumbai by early evening. "Five have drowned. It was raining here when the incident happened. The bodies have been sent for a post-mortem and will be sent to Mumbai in the morning," said Assistant Sub-Inspector Mukund Jadhav of Ratnagiri Gramin police station.

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