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Navy captain dies in paramotoring mishap in Karnataka

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Navy captain dies in paramotoring mishap in Karnataka

Bengaluru:  A naval officer has died in a paramotoring accident in Karnataka when the engine of the paramotor developed a snag and he plunged into the Arabian Sea.

The incident happened on Friday.

The police have identified the deceased as Madhusudhan Reddy (54), an Indian Navy captain. However, Dr. Vidhaydhara Vaidya (60), who owns this equipment and piloted the paramotor survived in this incident.

Paramotoring is an adventure sport where a chute is attached to a seat powered by a motor. The rider is harnessed to the seat and the motor located at the back of the seat thrusts upwards. This lifts the rider into the air.

This incident took place on the Rabindranath Tagore beach, in Karwar which is famous for adventure sports in Karnataka. This beach attracts many parasailing and paramotoring enthusiasts primarily from across South India.

Karwar is just 15 kms away from Goa border and a seaside city on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. To the east are the Western Ghats. Karwar is situated on the banks of the Kali river (Kali Nadi) which flows west to the Arabian sea from its headwaters at Bidi village in the Western Ghats and attracts a lot of fishing and river rafting enthusiasts. Such being the case, Karwar has always been considered as the favourite for the trekking, river rafting and paragliding enthusiasts.

As part of the ‘Unlock 5’, after a gap of almost seven months, adventure activities were kicked off on Friday to attract tourists as well as adventure enthusiasts, an official said.

The Karwar Town police said that Captain Madhusudhan Reddy (54), was rescued from the Arabian Sea and died about 30 minutes later, as he was being taken to the hospital.

According to the police, Reddy, based in Sea Bird, an Indian Navy base at Karwar, had gone to the beach with his family members on Friday. His family, hails from Andhra Pradesh and were visiting him.

Adventure sports had been banned at the Rabindranath Tagore Beach due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but were restarted on Friday itself.

Reddy family members all took turns to paramotor and finally it was his turn. When he was about 100 meters above sea level, the motor reportedly developed a snag and Reddy fell into the water.

The police added that Reddy got tangled up in the rope and the weight of the paramotor pulled him into the sea.

Dr. Vidyadhar Vaidya, who also fell, was rescued by fishermen immediately. However, they took longer to find Reddy. Finally, around 5.30 p.m., Reddy was fished out of the sea.

Police claimed that Reddy was alive when he was brought to the beach shore. However, the ambulance, which the police had called for did not arrive on time. The police said that the ambulance was delayed due to which he was taken to the Karwar District Hospital in a police jeep.

“We waited for about 20 minutes and then took him to the hospital. We had to wait as it was protocol and if anything were to have gone wrong, it could have been life threatening as we are not paramedics. We waited for a few minutes and when the ambulance didn’t come, we had to make the decision to put him in the police jeep and take him,” the police officer said.

The police said that Reddy died on the way to the hospital, which is half a kilometer away from the beach. He was declared brought dead.

The police said that according to the doctors at the district hospital, Captain Reddy died due to cold water shock. “The doctors told us that since he suddenly plunged into water where the temperature was less than 15 degrees C and the outside temperature was much higher, he went into shock,” the officer said.

The police have registered a case of accident and negligence, and investigations are on.

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