3 Students Drown, 32 Rescued After Boat Capsizes in Dahanu
A boat with 40 school children on board capsized two nautical miles into the Arabian Sea off the coast of Dahanu in Palghar district, Maharashtra, on 13 January morning. Three girls have drowned, while five children were reported missing. Of the 40 students, 32 have been rescued.
The Coast Guard has diverted ships which were at sea and ships were also called in from Mumbai. Dornier aircraft and helicopters from Daman (near to Dahanu) were pressed into action, according to Coast Guard officials.
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 told PTI.
Reports suggest that the boat capsized as it was overloaded.
The three girls were classmates and neighbours, who lived in Dahanu’s Ambedkar Nagar, as The Indian Express reported. At the prayer service held on 14 January, Sanskruti’s father Suryakant Mayavanshi was inconsolable, while her mother, older sister and younger brother wept beside her body.
Jahanvi’s uncle, Dheeraj Surati, said that no one saw such a tragedy coming. “The boat service had started only a week ago. Now we hear that it was illegal,” said Surati.
The tragedy apparently struck when some students crowded on one side of the boat to click selfies, resulting in the vessel tilting on one side and capsizing, BJP MLA Manisha Chowdhary, who hails from Dahanu, told PTI.
Local fishermen, who saw the mishap, and some residents of Dahanu, joined in rescue efforts.
Late in the evening, Singe told reporters that the police were probing the accident. An offence would be registered against those responsible for the tragedy, the SP said.
Karina Mayavanshi, another student who was on the boat, was trying to come to terms with the loss of three of her friends who were with her when the mishap took place.
"A total of 32 precious lives were saved in the incident and they are being provided medical attention by the local authorities," the release said.
However, there have been three casualties in the incident, it said.
"Search efforts are still continuing at the location in coordination with local authorities to search for missing students, if any," the release said.
President Ram Nath Kovind, who arrived in Mumbai on Saturday on a two-day Maharashtra visit, has offered his condolences to the families of those killed in the tragedy.
Dahanu is a coastal town and a municipal council in Palghar district of Maharashtra state in Konkan division. It is located 110 km from Mumbai city.
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