MUMBAI: Search operations continued today to trace missing students, a day after a private boat carrying students on a school picnic capsized off the coast of Dahanu in Palghar district of Maharashtra.
35 students were accounted for yesterday but the total number of students was not confirmed, a Coast Guard spokesperson said.
The Coast Guard helicopter took off at the first light this morning to search the waters around the Dahanu creek, the spokesperson said.
A second helo (helicopter) sortie was also about to take off from Daman shortly, he said.
The Coast Guard station at Dahanu is coordinating with local authorities and school staff to confirm the number of students.
Three girls drowned yesterday and five were feared missing after the private boat carrying nearly 40 students capsized off the coast of Dahanu, police earlier said.
Three persons, including the owner of the boat, were arrested by the Palghar police late last evening.
The police yesterday said 32 students had been rescued and a search for the missing ones was continuing, with Coast Guard personnel and local fishermen out at sea.
The bodies of the three girls -- Sonal Bhagwan Surati, Janhavi Harish Surati and Sanskruti Mayavanshi -- all aged 17, were recovered, Superintendent of Police, Palghar, Manjunath Singe said.
All three were residents of Masauli in Dahanu's Ambedkar Nagar area.
The private boat 'Dahanu Queen' was carrying students of the Ponda School and Junior College in Parnaka in Dahanu when it capsized, Singe said.