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Two of five drowning colleagues die

September 15, 2012

KARACHI, Sept 15: Two of the five drowning men who were pulled out from the sea by volunteer lifeguards near the Manora and Sandspit beaches died from medical complications on Saturday.

All the five men, said to be employees of a private bank, were picnicking at the bank’s beach hut near Sandspit when they decided to go for a dip.

Unfortunately, they were unable to assess the depth of water as they got caught in the current which pulled them further into the rough sea.

Upon noticing that the men were in trouble, the hut’s guard sought help from the closest lifeguard tower.

“It had already been over five minutes by the time I reached the beach to dive into the water. I was alone and there were five men to save. First I reached the ones who were conscious and struggling to keep afloat and then I swam back for the unresponsive ones floating with their faces down in the water and backs towards me,” Dilshad, the lifeguard who pulled the men out, told Dawn.

“The men were named Prem, Sherton, Yasir, Rashid and Babal and their hut, owned by by the private bank, is situated between the Manora and Sandspit beaches,” said Mohammad Anwer, chief lifeguard of the voluntary service, Pakistan Aquatic Lifeguards.

“We are now learning that on reaching the nearest hospital in the PNS Himalaya cantonment area, two of the five men were pronounced dead on arrival,” he said. The fact was also confirmed by the hospital sources, who added that after receiving first aid and emergency treatment, two of the men were discharged while one was still under observation at the hospital.

According to Edhi ambulance volunteers, the two men who couldn’t make it were Prem and Yasir, both aged around 40. Rashid, 35, was under observation, they said.

Meanwhile, the station officer at the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) Emergency Response Centre at Hawkesbay, Mr Mairaj, said that the unfortunate incident took place at around 3.30pm.

“It is sad that the men had lost their lives due to lack of safety equipment at the hut. Had there been any lifejackets at their hut, the guard wouldn’t have had to run to find help while wasting precious time,” he regretted.