CHENNAI:Two college students were pulled into the sea at the Marina beach on Sunday while they were playing in the water. While one of them drowned, vendors on the beach pulled the other to safety.
Eyewitnesses said that around 11 am, Koteeswari (18), a first year physiotherapy student, ventured deeper into the sea and was suddenly pulled in by the waves. Her companion, Ashok (19), who was her college senior, saw her struggle and tried to rescue her.
Kalaimani, a vendor who was one of the rescuers, said, “After a few minutes, it was clear that he too was struggling to swim against the current. A friend and I went into the sea to rescue them, but could not see the girl. We only managed to pull the boy out.”
Ashok, who was unconscious when he was pulled out of the water, was revived and taken to the Government Royapettah Hospital. His condition is currently stable.
Both of them were physiotherapy students in a private medical college at Thandalam. Ashok, a native of Tirupur, is a second year student, while Koteeswari, a native of Vellore, was a first year student.
Searches by the Coastal Security Group, which deployed a helicopter and a speedboat to survey the waters, were unsuccessful. Around 4 pm, the girl’s body was washed ashore near the Labour Statue.
Points to ponder
■ Why no dedicated lifeguards with communication equipment and lifesaver training?
■ Lifesaving can only be done by strong swimmers; why have they not been hired?
■ Police have put up warning sign boards and deployed foot patrols, yet people keep drowning
■ Not easy for police to protect over 2 km of the beach with limited means
■ 4WD ambulance deployed; but they can help only if and when victim is rescued