Hyderabad: Nearly 25 persons have drowned in water bodies in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in recent weeks. In most cases, the victims knew swimming but died because they underestimated the depth of the tank, the presence of mud and other impediments in lakes, tanks and canals in the two states. Some lost their lives while saving their friends who were drowning.
Swimming experts and coaches advise people to avoid swimming in water bodies they are not familiar with. “It is better to avoid swimming in ponds in unknown places. Even good swimmers cannot rescue themselves from drifting mud, moss and algae. Without taking opinion from locals, it is not advisable to swim in agricultural wells,” said Mr Umesh Gandle, the coach at a swimming pool in Secunderabad.
“Diving into unfamiliar wells is very dangerous as nobody knows their depth or whether of rocks and mud are present,” he said. He said that in most cases swimmers try to save their drowning friends but do not have basic knowledge in life saving techniques.
Mr Gandle said rescuing a drowning person requires great skills. “Swimmers should not move very close to those who are drowning because they may get caught tightly by the victims. This increases the chances of both the swimmer and the victim drowning.”
Mr Gandle says that those attepmting a rescue should catch the victim from a safe distance, by the hand or by the hair and drag them out of the water.
He advised youth to use swimming pools instead heading for tanks and ponds.
“Swimming pools have trained rescue personnel and the depth of the pools are known at each and every point. Besides that they are free of drifting mud, moss, algae and other dangerous material that can easily trap and kill swimmers,” he said.
Most of the dead are students who were out near water bodies to have a bit of fun. Shockingly, several victims didn’t even know how to swim and died when the water got too deep.
Youth drowns in swimming pool
A 21-year-old youth who went swimming along with his friends drowned in a swimming pool in Pahadishareef. Police said the youth, Sajjad, who did not know swimming entered the pool along with his friends. The coach saw him and removed him from the pool, but he died while being taken to hospital.
Police said Sheikh Sajjad, hailing from Yakutpura, was working in a bakery in Shaheennagar. On Friday evening he and four of his friends went to the Arabian Swimming Pool located in Barcus.
The five, including Sajjad, entered the pool. While others started swimming, Sajjad went deep into the pool and drowned. “The coach, Ibrahim, who saw Sajjad drowning rescued him and after giving first aid shifted him to hospital, but Sajjad died on way,” inspector V.V. Chala-pathi said.
Police said the depth of the pool at the spot where Sajjad drowned was around 8 feet and there were around 20 people in the pool at the time of the incident.
Based on a complaint from Sajjad’s father Shaikh Chand a case of death due to negligence was registered against the pool management.
Lakes, swimming pools turn deadly
- Last week, four youths downed in the Devarapally village tank in Mominpet mandal of Ranga Reddy district. All the victims knew swimming, but they drowned due to drifting mud.
- Two Intermediate students died in a well while swimming at Alampally near Vikarabad after their examinations. Both of them knew how to swim.
- Four out of five students from Hyderabad drowned in Umdasagar near Rajendranagar on April 10.
- They were not expert swimmers and failed to estimate the depth of the tank.
- The same day, a 14-year-old student drowned due to drifting mud in Gopanpally tank near Serilingampally.
- Two students from Miryalaguda died while swimming in the left canal of Nagarjuna-sagar. They were both good swimmers.
- One body was found at Garidepally and another the next day at Penpahad, far from the spot.
- Two students died at the Boddagunni Waterfalls at Lavabu in Devarapally mandal of Visakhapatnam district in north Andhra Pradesh.
- Ten youths drowned on March 25 in different parts of Andhra Pradesh.
- Three of them were drowned in Nellore and Prakasam districts. Two people were killed in Chittoor and Srikalahasti.
- Among the dead were four individuals who aparently knew swimming really well.