Three youngsters drown in Opa river

PONDA/PANAJI: Three youngsters, including two brothers, drowned in Opa river near Codar on Sunday afternoon. The three met watery grave while on a picnic.

Eyewitnesses noticed the youths drowning and informed the Ponda police, who rushed to the spot. However, by then the three youths had already drowned.  The police called in a fire brigade who fished out the bodies which were grounded at the river bottom by using victim location display unit.
The deceased have been identified as Shubham Choudhari alias Ricky ( 20),  Vigil Ravindra Choudhari, (18), both brothers and residents of Kalmamol-Borim, and Shankar Chawhan, (18), a resident of Bethora in Ponda taluka.
The police informed that the brothers Ricky and Vigil were students, while Shankar was working at an auto service centre at Bethora. Ricky was a first year student of BCA at Shree Damodar College in Margao, while his younger brother Vigil was a student of secondary school certificate course at Pragati Vidyalaya at Paniwada-Borim.
The brothers were dropped to the picnic spot by their elder brother Rohan who had later left the site for some personal work. The eyewitnesses informed that the third youth died while trying to rescue the other two who were drowning.
The police have sent the dead bodies to the Goa Medical College and Hospital at Bambolim for postmortem, which will be conducted on Monday.
A case of an unnatural death has been registered at the Ponda police station under section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Normally, drowning deaths are associated with the state’s 105-km long coast and a majority of those are domestic tourists. According to government figures, domestic tourists who lost their lives due to drowning on Goan beaches during the last five years accounted for over 67 per cent of the deaths with only 23 per cent being foreigners.
Around 185 domestic tourists out of a total of 277 drowned on Goan beaches during the five and half year period from January 2007 up to June 2012, according to data, while the number of foreign victims during the period was 26.
Surprisingly, 66 local persons, including women, were those of the 277 victims from January 2007 to June 2012. [NT]