Saved in the nick of time:
Lives to tell the tale
Menike(not her real name) was always in a contemplative mood.
Everyday after work she would sit down by herself and stare into space
having a blank look. Her parents were a trifle worried about her but did
not take much notice. Menike worked in a garment factory nearby. Even
here she did not make many friends and was always to herself .
Sergeant D. B. Guruge
Even during her school days she was a quiet girl and did not engage
in many school activities and kept to herself. Menike was a beauty and
her lovely long hair and jaw structure gave her a lot of character. She
was the younger of two siblings . Her brother was older than her .
On that fateful day Menike had her breakfast early and left home as
usual. She bade a fond farewell to her parents and then walked out of
What happened after that was tragic because Menike was seen walking
up and down the aisle of the Kalutara bridge but onlookers did not take
any serious note of her.
No one had the time to worry about her because many of them were
either going to work or were going in the direction of the Kalutara
Menike was seen peering into the surging waters of the Kalu Ganga
clinging onto the railings but observers dismissed this action as many
people look over the bridge into the waters. She was pensive and was
seen looking around but still people around did not take any notice
because of their busy schedules and maybe they too were preoccupied.
The next thing that happened was startling t say the least. Menike
was seen running to wards the surging , swollen kalu Ganga and she
leaped into the flowing waters.
The Kalu Ganga was in full spate and swollen after the recent rains.
In a daring deed, a police sergeant dived into the murky waters of the
Kalu Ganga to save the life of Menike who had attempted to commit
suicide by jumping into the surging waters of the Kalu Ganga.
Sergeant D. B. Guruge attached to the Kalutara police (south) risked
his life to jump into the murky waters that day to save the life of
On that fateful day Sergeant Guruge was on duty patrolling the Kalu
Ganga in a boat. He was in the vicinity of the famous Kalutara bridge.
At that time he was all alone as his colleague had dropped off at the
nearby shore to have lunch.
Sergeant Guruge was relaxing a bit after a full morning tour in the
boat. He got the shock of his life as he saw a girl jumping from the
Kalutara bridge. His shouts were submerged by the noise of the gushing
waters. The waters were rough that day as their had been heavy rain the
previous days. Guruge did not hesitate and he jumped into the murky
waters from his boat. He knew that if he tried to restart the boat
engine he would not reach her before the waters overtook her and she
would have drowned for sure. Then Guruge swam as best as he could but
the strong current was hampering his progress.
Menike could be seen bobbing up and down in the water. She was
struggling with the strong currents. Slowly Guruge saw the girl losing
consciousness and she was surely drowning.
With a final burst of effort Guruge increased his speed and finally
reached the girl who was no longer on the surface. She was going down
unconscious. Guruge took a deep breath and dived, grabbed the hair of
the drowning girl and pulled her up and he slowly began to swim to
shore.By now the Police and the publi rushed to the spot. They helped
Guruge to get the girl to the shore and to safety. She was promptly
taken to the Nagoda hospital by the HQI of the Kalutara South police, CI
Sampath Bandara and police officers for treatment.Speaking about the
incident the heroic policeman said the whole episode went by in a flash,
adding that he did not think about his own life when he dived into the
Sergeant Guruge further said they rescued four people from drowning
in the same area on Vesak Poya and Poson Poya days.
Parents attributed the reason for her to end her life stemmed from
the fact of late she had been suffering from a bout of depression and
this may have taken the better of her. She was being treated for her
condition.When police questioned her as to why she wanted to end her
life Menike had said that her family members no longer cared for her and
they were not bothered whether she lived or died and that was why she
thought that ending her life was the next best option.