They did not heed daughter's warning


“My daughter Preethi (aged 13) advised us against the cruise as the boat was over-crowded; yet we chose to ignore her words and took the boat,” an uncontrollably sobbing Suganthi confided at the mishap spot on Thursday.

Her husband Shekar, also a school teacher, used his swimming skill to save his drowning son Pratheep and himself after the boat capsized, while some ‘Adivasis’ rescued his wife.

“But when we looked for our other two kids- Preethi and 11-year-old son, Adityan, we found only their bodies floating,” said Suganthi before breaking down. The tragedy was doubly grave for the Shekar family. All three members of another family from Kumbakonam, their good friends whom they had accompanied on this site-seeing trip to Thekkady, met with a watery grave.

Shilsith, a real estate businessman, his wife Susheela and their son Appu, who hail from Thrissur in Kerala but had settled down in Kumbakonam, were among the dead, official sources in Kumuli, the nearest town, confirmed to Deccan Herald. 

Among the dead, at least 17 tourists were from Tamil Nadu, the sources said. They included three men, three women and 11 children mostly in their teens. The search for five other missing persons is still on.

Other victims included five members of a family from Sundarapuram in Coimbatore, the sources said. Three members of a family from Tiruppur, were also killed in the mishap. 

Rajasekharan, working in Bangalore and whose family is in Chennai, had been to Thekkady with two others, but never returned. His family members, were yet to recover from the trauma. “We are still awaiting his body,” a family member said, before requesting, “no pictures please.”

The other casualties from Tamil Nadu included Sandhya and Dharani from Periyakulam in Theni district, besides one Adityan from Thanjavur.

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