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Army officer drowning on Goa beach rescued by Coast Guard chopper


A 26-year-old army officer who slipped off the rocks and fell into the choppy sea was rescued by a coast guard helicopter on Thursday at Cabo de Rama in South Goa and airlifted to the Navy Hospital INHS Jeevanti. His condition is reported to be stable.

Director General of Coast Guard, Himanshu Nautiyal, said the rescue was successful despite choppy and windy conditions.

“We received a call from the police at around 13.30 p.m. Within no time, our chopper was in the air and within ten minutes, it was able to retrieve the person from the sea,” DIG Himanshu Nautiyal told reporters.

The drowning man was first noticed by lifeguards after he slipped from the rocks and fell into the choppy sea.

Life-guarding agency Drishti Marine said the man could not be rescued using a jet ski due to the rocky terrain, high waves and dangerous conditions.

“A call was placed to the Indian coast guard control room and INS Hansa and the helicopter back-up called for. A coast guard SAR (Search and Rescue) Hello rushed to the area while the lifeguards directed the team to the accurate spot,” the agency said in a statement.

Himmat Singh, aircrew driver (ACD) from the coast guard team, rescued the officer.

The army officer, who has not been named, is posted in Pune but was on a visit to Goa for a few days.

Over the last 24 hours, three persons who ignored warnings and ventured into the sea had to be rescued by lifeguards.

Goa’s beaches were designated off bounds for swimming earlier this week, prior to the onset of the monsoon.

The state government shuts down beaches for all water sports from June to August when the sea is extremely rough and choppy. Goa also observes a 61-day fishing ban from 1 June to 31 July, during which nearly 1,500 trawlers keep their nets away from territorial waters.

An advisory has also been issued to visitors to avoid rocky areas, cliffs and hills on the shoreline, as these are very slippery during the monsoon season and are lashed by waves of unpredictable height, intensity and frequency.