Four of Mumbai family, friend drown at Konkan beach
Mumbai: Four members of the D’Souza family and a friend from Borivli’s IC colony drowned off a beach in Ratnagiri on Sunday.
The deceased have been identified as Kenneth Masters (56) and the D’Souzas: Monica (44), Sanomi (22), Rechar (19) and Mathew (18). Kenneth’s wife Leena (52) and Rita D’Souza (70), who were part of the group, did not venture into the sea, said officials.
The D’Souzas and the Masters are family friends. The group had gone to Devrukh in Ratnagiri and made a halt at Aare-Ware beach on their way to Ganpatipule on Sunday.
Local police said the deceased ventured into the sea amid a thunderstorm despite warnings. The entire area was also power-less since Saturday.
Police said the five were trapped in a whirlpool at the intersection of the sea and creek along the beach. The abnormal phenomenon stalled the rescue teams for some time. The five bodies were finally washed ashore by water currents.
Ratnagiri superintendent of police Pranaya Ashok said, “The family had made a trip to the beach. They had gone swimming around 5pm. A whirlpool had formed at the intersection of the creek and the sea along the beach and they were trapped in it. The sea was treacherous with gusty winds and high tide and it was also thundering.”
It was not advisable for rescuers to venture in, Ashok added.
Ratnagiri district civil surgeon Dr P Deokar said, “The bodies have reached the civil hospital for postmortem. We found no injuries on their bodies.” Dr Deokar added, “Relatives of the victims told us that they were planning to construct a house on land purchased in Devrukh, Ratnagiri. They were going to Ganpatipule and stopped at Aare-Ware beach. The locals advised them not to venture into the sea but they ignored their warning.”
Meanwhile, the quiet neighbourhood of IC Colony in Borivli west was jolted by the news of the tragedy. The priests of IC Church, local residents and shopkeepers quickly put out word on WhatsApp groups of the locality, seeking details and asking people to pray for the departed souls.
Naresh Gadve lives in the same Silver Stone building as the Masters and has known them for 14 years. “Our society secretary received a call from Kenneth’s wife Leena informing her about the tragedy. Apparently the youngsters went into the water first. Then they suddenly lost their footing, and Kenneth went in to save them. Sadly, he lost his life in the process.” The couple had no children, he added.
Neighbours said that Kenneth had retired from work six months ago. The D’souza family had moved from Megha building from Eksar village in Borivli to IC Colony three months ago after Monica’s husband Bento D’souza passed away three months ago due to cancer.
Rita D’souza will bring the bodies back on Monday. Some relatives are expected to come from Australia, said neighbours.
(Inputs by Bella Jaisinghani)