Shakeeb Khan, a nine-year-old child, along with a group of friends drowned while venturing into the sea near Manora beach on Tuesday.
“The water was knee high and there was nothing alarming at all,” said Naeem Khan, Shakeeb’s uncle. Khan, a resident of Landhi, said that all the family members were standing in the water when a ‘huge wave’ suddenly swept them away, including five children. “We managed to hold Umama, 12, and Anas, 10, and the toddlers but Shakeeb was nowhere to be seen when the wave went back.”
Khan said that the lifeguards arrived 15 minutes later. “Shakeeb could have been rescued if the lifeguards were somewhere closer,” he said. Shakeeb was found about five minutes after help arrived.
He alleged that the lifeguards did not dive into the water and instead, kept waiting at the shore while Shakeeb could be seen floating in the sea. Shakeeb was still alive when he was rescued. He was rushed to Naval Medical Centre, Keamari, where he died 20 minutes into his treatment. His lungs were filled with water. Talking to The Express Tribune, Khan pleaded to to stay away from the beach.
In another incident at the same beach, the bodies of Farhan Hussain, 27, Tariq Ishaq, 22, and Junaid Ishaq, 21, residents of New Karachi, were found after they drowned.
A group of six friends from the Godhra community went to the beach, said Ahmed Hasan, an elder. Three of them drowned and three were rescued.
“They were playing cricket when they made a plan to take a dip,” he said. The six friends frequently visited the beach.
The police was informed of the drowning while patrolling near the seaside at 5pm, said Nadeem Tanoli, the assistant sub-inspector of the Sandspit police. The police and lifeguards at the scene rescued the victims and provided them medical help while waiting for the ambulance. The victims were also taken to the Naval Medical Centre where they died. They were laid to rest at the Muhammad Shah graveyard in North Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.
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