In a tragic incident, four boys, who came here on an excursion from Madurai along with their schoolmates, drowned in the sea here on Friday.
According to police, a group of 113 students, including 71 girls and 42 boys, of C S Ramachari Memorial Maticulation Higher Secondary Nagar, Tirunagar, Madurai, arrived here by two buses on Friday morning on an excursion.
As part of their trip, they visited various places, including Our Lady of Snows Church on Beach Road and Thoothukudi VOC Port Trust. Around noon, the group reached the VOC Port Trust beach.
Six boys, all class XII students, from the group headed to the beach to have fun in the water. Suddenly, all the six were dragged into the sea by a huge tide and they shouted for help. On hearing their screams, teachers, who had accompanied the students, rushed to the spot. Sensing that the situation was going out of their hands, the teachers called the Fire and Rescue Service for help.
Fire service personnel immediately alerted the fishermen, who ventured into the sea in their boats and started the operation to search and rescue the students.
However, they were able to save only two of them and retrieve bodies of four other students, Sathish, Devanand, Vishnu and Parameshwaran, all Class XII students. Two students, Balamurugan and Balaji, who were rescued by the fishermen have been admitted to the Thoothukudi government hospital in a critical condition.
Anand Kumar, Commandant, Indian Coast Guard, said that there were high tides in the sea on Friday. During such times, certain swimming techniques must be adopted to escape from being washed away into the sea. Students might not have known this and that could have been the reason for the tragedy.