Cheruthoni: A holiday swimming trip turned tragic for a group of three friends after two of them drowned in the Periyar river on Sunday. Vivek, Drona and Navneeth were the three. They were accompanied by Drona's mother Manju.
The accident happened at the ghat where the friends usually bathed. The children had apparently swum to where a vortex had formed as a result of sand mining.
Manju had jumped into the water as soon as she realized the peril the children were in. However, not knowing how to swim, Manju began to drown to well.
Sreekuttan, a 14-year-old boy, who was standing on the banks, attempted a rescue, but could only save the mother and one of his friends.
The people in the locality gathered immediately on hearing the commotion. Though the children were finally pulled out, they could not be saved.
Vivek was a class 7 student at the Vazhathoppu St George School. Drona is a student of class three at Karimban St Thomas School. Their bodies are kept in the morgue at Idukki Medical College.
Though the boys were familiar with the ghat, the marshy vortex that had formed proved to be a death trap. The river had changed its course after last year's floods and stones had accumulated below the sand in the vortexes. A hotel worker who was involved in the rescue informed that the kids were trapped among these stones near the Asoka Kavala area.
The friend who saved two
Sreekuttan is still in shock as he recalls the tragic incident which claimed the lives of his friends. His eyes well up as he recounts the details of the accident. He says that he was compelled by his friends, who lost their lives, to accompany them to take a dip in the river.
Sreekuttan, a class ten student, is the son of Asoka Kavala Kuravanbarambil Sreekumar. Dona and Vivek were staying in a rented house owned by Sreekuttan’s father. He displayed a great presence of mind as Sreekuttan balanced his feet in a sand dune and managed to pull Navaneeth ashore. Meanwhile, he also managed to grab onto Manju’s hair.
The people had already rushed to the spot while he was pulling Manju into the banks.