Rithwik, a native of New Mahe in Kannur district, drowned to death in a pond in Thalassery during the swimming competition

Despite warnings education dept organises swimming meet 14-year-old dies in KeralaImage for representation only
news Death Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 19:15

With heavy rains lashing in the state, the state government has been consistently issuing safety warnings to people in all districts to not venture into any waterbody. Despite this, the education department in Kannur organised a swimming competition on Tuesday morning - a decision that proved dearly. A 14-year-old boy from MM Higher Secondary School in New Mahe drowned to death during the competition.

Class 9 student Rithwik drowned while taking part in the sub-district swimming competition, organised by the education department, at a pond in Thalassery. The competition saw as many as 63 students from north Thalassery north, south Thalassery and Chokli regions.

According to Thalassery police, Rithwik was swimming when he lost consciousness and began to drown.

"The incident took place at around 9 am. The organisers had put two people, holding life jackets, near the pond on standby, in case of an emergency. However, when the incident occurred, they could not do anything to save the boy. Finally, the fire force was called in and the boy's body was recovered at about 12 pm. The hospital declared him brought dead,” the police said.

After the post-mortem procedure, Rithwik's body has been handed over to his family. Asianet News reported that extremely coldness of the water in the pond caused health issues in Rithwik.

Considering that the swimming competition was organised without adequate safety measures in place, the Thalassery police have booked officials of the education department, including the Assistant Education Officer (AEO), for causing death by negligence.

The district collector and education department officials were unavailable for comment.