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‘Agar lifeguard hota toh do bacche nahin marte,' says Mumbai woman whose son drowned at Mahim beach

Updated on: 12 April,2024 05:55 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Apoorva Agashe |

After the drowning of two youngsters, families demand better beach safety protocols; accuse police of negligence

‘Agar lifeguard hota toh do bacche nahin marte,' says Mumbai woman whose son drowned at Mahim beach

Om Lot, survivor. Pic/Anurag Ahire

Mera baccha toh gaya, ab kisi aur ka baccha na jaye. Agar lifeguard hota toh aaj do baccho ki jaan bach jaati,” said Sangita Kagada, 40, who lost her son Yash Kagada to drowning in the sea at Mahim beach last month. Yash and his friend Harsh Kinjale, 15, drowned on March 26. The families of the deceased and one survivor demanded the installation of signboards and the deployment of rescue teams on the beach and have also alleged that the police were negligent.

Om Lot, 17, the only survivor that day, said, “We had gone there for a swim. Harsh, Yash and I entered the sea and were hit by a huge wave. Harsh and Yash disappeared into the water, and I was dragged ashore. I called the on-duty police officer for help; he didn’t come but attacked the fisherman who was trying to help us out. I called my family out of helplessness. Harsh and I were taken to Hinduja Hospital by our families.”

According to Sachin Chawan, relative of the Kagadas, there were no lifeguards, coast guards, or police when he got to the spot and had to pull out Harsh himself. “There was no official present on the spot. All the men in our area had gathered to find the boys. We took Om and Harsh to the hospital. The fire brigade and rescuers were called late by the police. By 7.30, the rescuers said they can’t continue the search. The next day Yash’s body was found at the same spot where he was bathing,” Chawan said.

Sangita, with teary eyes, said that had there been signboards indicating danger, the children would have been alive. “The children would not have entered the beach if there were signboards. I demand that the authorities must put up boards and the police should be cooperative and not beat the ones who had tried to help.” Sangita added. When asked about the incident Tejaswi Satpute, DCP Zone 5, said “We are unaware of such incidents, I request the deceased to approach us, and we will take appropriate action against the officer if such an incident had occurred.”

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