Surfer Tejas Naik and Head Coach of Mangalore Surf Club Rescues Two Students of a Moodbidri College from Drowning at Tannirbavi Beach
Mangaluru: Of lately there have been cases of youth drowning either at Malpe Beach or the surrounding areas, but this morning if not for the timely help of a surfer, two more youth from a college in Moodbidri would have lost their lives. On April 24, 2022, in the morning at around 8 A.M., a group of five students currently studying at a College in Moodbidri, visited Tannirbavi Beach and were indulging in the waves and splashing around the water. Unfortunately, there was a rip current and the group was pulled deeper into the water. Not all knowing how to swim, they panicked. Fortunately for them, a brother and sister duo who had come to swim in the open sea noticed them in distress and rushed to help. Sanketh Bengre & Ms Shilpa Bengre swiftly aided two victims and helped one who partially knew how to swim to reach the shore.
The troubling part was the remaining two who were in deep distress. It was at this moment that Tejas Naik, a Life Member, and Head Coach of Mangalore Surf Club who was giving surf lessons nearby noticed the panic-stricken shouts. He immediately took a surfboard and paddled out to rescue them. It was a few tense minutes, but after quick counselling and enabling the two distressed victims to use the surfboard, Tejas brought them back to the shore. Sure to effective training, and quick response by the Bengre siblings and Tejas all five victims were rescued and brought back to the shore. They were administered first aid immediately and were guided on water safety as well.
Surfer Tejas Naik and Head Coach of Mangalore Surf Club
Tejas Naik was relieved that all victims of the sea were safe and he noted that his extensive training under the Indian Lifesaving; Lifesaving Sports Federation was the key to him being able to save the victims’ lives. He also extended his gratitude to Mangalore Surf Club for having organized beach safety camps and awareness programs which enabled many locals to be aware of the safety norms needed while conducting themselves in the sea. Both Sanketh Bengre and Ms Shilpa Bengre are national level swimmers and swim coaches. They have also received formal training in water safety and beach rescue in the past. They are actively involved in beach programs at Bengre Beach under the acclaimed Abhisaran Academy.
Understanding Rip Currents:
As per information received from a member of Mangalore Surf Club, a rip current is a specific kind of water current that can occur near beaches. It is a strong, localized, and narrow current of water which moves directly away from the shore, cutting through the lines of breaking waves like a river running out to sea. A rip current is the strongest and fastest nearest to the surface of the water. Knowledge of swimming and water safety helps in understanding how to be safe if caught in a rip current. A rip current is like a moving treadmill, which the swimmer can get out of quite easily by swimming at a right angle, across the current, i.e. parallel to the shore in either direction. Rip currents are usually not very wide, so getting out of one only takes a few strokes.
Once out of the rip current, getting back to shore is also not difficult, since waves are breaking, and floating objects (including swimmers) will be pushed by the waves towards the shore. As an alternative, people who are caught in a strong rip can simply relax (either floating or treading water) and allow the current to carry them until it dissipates completely once it is beyond the surf line. Then the person can signal for help, or swim back through the surf, doing so diagonally, away from the rip and towards the shore.
About Mangalore Surf Club:
Mangalore Surf Club is a non-profit organization which was established in 2016 and is currently operating at Tannirbavi beach (pine tree area). It is easily accessible via the Sultan Battery ferry in about 5 minutes. This makes it easy for everyday sports and fitness enthusiasts to train on a daily basis without compromising on work hours. Mangalore Surf Club is the first and only surf club to be registered as a Society under the Societies Act of Karnataka 1960. This not only makes it a transparent, not for profit organization, but also gives all its members equal voting rights. Six of the club’s members are certified in CPR and First Aid by the American Heart Association which was conducted under the tutelage of Yenepoya University. Three of the club’s members are LifeGuards certified by the ILLSF (Indian Lifesaving, Lifesaving Sports Federation).
The club has one International Surf Association Certified Level 1 Instructor & Surf Life Saving Bronze Medallion Certification as well. One of the Club’s Life Members has represented India in the swim event of the 2012 Olympics under the 1500 meter freestyle event. Another member is a 3 times Women’s National Surf Champion. The club actively pursues social causes mainly to do with cleanliness awareness around the beach. The club also conducts free CPR training/demo to promote awareness of its benefits. The club was formed by passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds who have a vision to put Mangalore on top of the world-class map.
Note: The identity/Photos of the rescued College students are not disclosed as per their request