KARACHI: Three women and as many children of the same family drowned at the Gadani beach on Friday afternoon.
The picnic of Lyari residents turned into a tragedy when a huge wave took away seven persons at Balochistan’s popular coastal picnic spot. However, one of them was saved by rescue workers, according to officials and witnesses.
One of the deceased was identified as Shahida Shahid, 35. She lost her life along with her daughter Mahak, 12, and two sons — Sufyan, 11, and Aman, 9.
Bodies of two boys yet to be retrieved
The remaining two deceased were identified as Sumera Zahid, 28, and Sadaf Ilyas, 21.
Saad Faisal Edhi, a senior official at the Edhi Foundation, giving details of the incident told Dawn that the picnickers belonged to the Kalri area of Lyari and they had reached the beach on Friday morning.
He added that initially a wave took away the children and as the women tried to rescue them, they also lost control and drowned.
On receiving information, Edhi volunteers and Pakistan Navy’s rescue teams reached the spot and tried to save the persons. A navy helicopter also took part in the operation and tried to locate the bodies.
The rescue teams after considerable efforts managed to retrieve bodies of the three women and one girl child.
The bodies of the two boys could not be recovered till Friday evening when the search operation had to be stopped due to darkness.
The operation will be resumed on Saturday morning.
Saad Faisal Edhi urged the citizens to avoid swimming at Gadani, Hawkesbay and Seaview beaches to prevent such tragedies. He said this time of the year was known for high tides.
Anwar Kazmi, the Edhi Foundation’s spokesperson, said Gadani was generally considered a dangerous beach by experts and local people due to its unexpected waves.
He recalled that some years ago 18 people had lost their lives when some unexpected waves took them away at the Gadani beach.
The Edhi Foundation official said that police and lifeguards were deployed at the beach but wondered why they did not prevent people from swimming in the sea.
Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2018