KOZHIKODE: Two kayakers drowned in Kadanthara river near Kuttiadi in Kozhikode on Sunday. The deceased are Naveen Shetty, 41, of Nandana house, Sultan Palya, Bengaluru, and Alappuzha native Elvin Lonan, 40, who is residing at Habitat Splendour, ITPL Road, Kundalahalli, Bengaluru.
According to the police, the duo was part of a five-member team who reached Peruvannamuzhi for kayaking practice. “The mishap occurred around 12pm at Poozhithode near Kuttiadi. All five kayakers were trapped in a rapid current. However, three of them – Manik Taneja of Bengaluru, Amitpappa of Uttarakhand and Bhav Preet of Delhi – managed to escape. But, Naveen and Elvin were unable to swim as the current was too strong,” said a police officer.
Manik, who was leading the team, said, “As the water was high in the river, we decided to start kayaking downstream. Initially, Amit, Bhav, Naveen and I peeled out and caught the first eddy on the left. Later, Elvin peeled out and tried to make the move into the eddy on the right.
“But, he missed it and started moving downstream. We also started going down behind Elvin. Later, Elvin flipped and was out of his boat. I reached close to him and he caught hold of my boat, but both of us went into a big chasm where I got stuck for a while and Elvin got separated from me. He was swept down by the strong current.
“We saw Naveen trying to grab the branch of a tree. Amit decided to give chase and went after him in the kayak. But, he could not be saved,” he said. Local residents launched a rescue operation and recovered the bodies and took them to Government Hospital, Kuttiadi where they were declared brought dead. Later, the bodies were shifted to Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital mortuary for postmortem.
The Thottilpalam police have registered a case. Flash flood and unexpected undercurrents are not a rare occurrence in the river. Two years ago, six students drowned in a flash flood.