ARIYALUR:There are no shortcuts to success. A team of budding sportsmen would have realised this the hard way after they were stranded in the swirling waters of Kollidam in Ariyalur on Sunday night.
Around 4 pm on Sunday, a group of seven teenagers from Thirupurambiyam village near Kumbakonam were returning from Sripuranthan in Ariyalur on Sunday evening after taking part in a kabbadi tournament. Not willing to take a circuitous route, they decided to cross the Kollidam at Parisal Thidal near Arankottai.
Three members of the group - Saravanan, Prithvirajan and Dinesh - decided to enter the river first to check for the depth. But the plan went awry and the three were swept away by the strong currents. Since they were good swimmers, the trio managed to stay afloat and landed up on a sandy patch in the middle of the river. Seeing their plight, their friends - Prithviraj, Ajith, Sibiraj and Prakash - returned to the banks.
The four tried to call for assistance from people nearby. After attempts by people to rescue the three failed, they decided to dial an ambulance helpline who transferred the distress call to fire stations in Ariyalur and Jayankondam. It was 11 pm when Fire and Rescue Services personnel arrived and found the resuce a daunting task as it was pitch-dark night.
After deliberating on the options available with police and locals, the ten member team decided to take the help of fishermen . By the time a fibre boat was arranged it dawned and around 5.30 am on Monday, a couple of fishermen and a rescue personnel drove their boat towards the sandy patch where the youth landed and were shivering in the morning chill.Finally, around 6 am, the three were brought to the bank and given food and refreshment, amid a liberal dose of advice.