Kolkata: A pall of gloomy has descended on the 93-year-old Lake Club, on the banks of the sprawling Rabindra Sarobar Lake following the death of two teenage rowers who lost their lives when their boat capsized in the face of an unexpectedly strong Nor’wester on Saturday.
The Lake Club and its adjacent Calcutta Rowing Club have decided to postpone an inter-school rowing meet slated for Sunday as the tragedy shook up the young teamsters.
“The mishap is a shock to all of us. Both Pushan Sadhukhan and Souradeep Chatterjee were promising rowers … I could not sleep last night,” Lake Club’s joint secretary Debabrata Dutta told PTI on Sunday.
Apart from the deceased duo’s boat which had a crew of five in all, there were four other boats which were practising for Sunday’s rowing meet. The club which had freedom fighter and nationalist leader J.M.Sengupta, Maharani of Cooch Behar Indira Devi, industrialist Sir Biren Mookerjee as its members and well wishers, has nurtured many talented rowers for Bengal and the country.
“They (the other rowers) could manage to somehow reach the shore while these two unlucky boys could not,” he said.
Bodies of Pushan and Souradeep, both 14 years’ old and students of South Point School, were fished out of the waters of the Lake three hours after the mishap happened at around 5.15PM, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said.
Both were considered bright boys at the prestigious South Point School. Pushan was in Class 9 while Suradeep studied in Class 10.
“They were quite bright students and we had high hopes for them. In fact, both were also good swimmers. We do not select rowers who do not know how to swim for our team,” a teacher of South Point school said.
Pushan was declared brought dead when taken to a nearby private hospital, while doctors at the state-run SSKM Hospital found Souradeep dead when his body was rushed there.
“The water of the Lake was around 20 feet deep at the point where the bodies of the two boys were fished out sometime around 7pm. During Saturday’s squall at around 5.15PM their boat in which three other boys were also rowing in Rabindra Sarobar Lake, turned turtle. As a result, the boys fell into the waterbody. Out of them, three managed to swim to safety,” the officer said.
The duo along with others were training as a part of their preparation for the finals of a school-level rowing competition scheduled Sunday, he added.
City Mayor Firhad Hakim and police commissioner Vineet Goyal supervised the rescue operations carried out by personnel of Kolkata Police‘s disaster management group.
When asked, the police officer said that an investigation into the mishap would “be carried out”.
“We have already collected the video grab of the incident and started our investigation,” the police officer said.
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