Pune: When 20-year-old Iftekar Sheikh saw his friends drowning in the Arabian Sea off Murud beach in Raigad district on Tuesday, he did not think twice before jumping into water, and managed to save his female classmate, but was washed away himself.
Iftekar's friend Arbaaz Sayyad, who saw the whole tragedy unfold before him, in which 14 of his classmates met the watery grave, told about this particular episode to PTI.
"When my classmate and friend, Iftekar Abbas Ali Sheikh, saw one of our girl classmates drowning, he immediately ventured into the sea to save her. He pushed the girl towards the shore and saved her life. However, during this act of bravery, he himself got washed away in the choppy waters and drowned," Arbaaz said.
Fourteen students of Abeda Inamdar College in Pune, including 10 girls, aged between 18 and 20, had drowned in the Sea at Murud yesterday. Iftekar, who was studying in third year of Bachelor of Computer Science, is one of the victims.
"The whole episode began when one of the victims, Swapnali Salgar, started drowning and three of our classmates went ahead to save her," Arbaaz said.
He said that although he himself is not a good swimmer, he jumped into the sea water to save his mates. However, he soon returned to the shore after panic gripped him.
"Although I am not much good at swimming, I went ahead into the water. But soon, I realised that the sand under my feet was slipping away. I got scared and started swimming back to the shore," he said, while recollecting the tragic events.
Arbaaz's father Javed Sayyad, who runs a hotel here, said, "I would like to appeal to the parents not to send their children to such dangerous places. I also appeal to the government to increase security at such beaches by deploying enough number of lifeguards and emergency services."...