Bhubaneswar, Jan 3 (LocalWire): Two teenagers risked their lives to save as many people as possible during the Kendrapara boat tragedy.
Among the five lifesavers, the district administration recognised cousin sisters Sabita Giri (14) and Purnima Giri (15), who played a vital role in saving the lives of scores in the boat mishap.
“I still shiver to recall the horrifying incident. Hearing screams of people, we jumped into the river without a second thought,” Sabita told LocalWire.
“We are good swimmers. But we were so shocked initially that we did not know what to do. The only thing that struck our mind was we won’t let people die,” said Purnima.
“At around 7 pm when we heard the screams begging for their lives, we rushed to the spot in darkness. Before anything came to our mind, we jumped and pulled out whoever we found drowning in the river. As it was night it was too difficult to trace people,” said Sabita.
“If it was daytime, we would not have let the others die,” said the brave girl.
“We know the river is house to crocodiles and the water was chilled. But nothing came to our mind at that moment, other than to save people,” she said.
The district administration has recognised five people – Budhadev Giri (40), Purnima Giri (15), Sabita Giri (14), Abhiram Das (70), and Balaram Das (32) for their heroic rescue operations during the tragedy.
A boat with 55 people capsized in Mahanadi river at 6.20 pm on Wednesday at Sananipanianear Barkolikhala in Batighar Gram Panchayat of Kendrapara district.
The passengers were returning from a picnic at Light House of Hukitola island when the mishap occurred. The death toll rose to 9 on Thursday.