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Sunday, 29 June 2014

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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 .

Kalutara bridge

Kalu Ganga


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 the house.

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 Bodhi.

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 another.

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 surging waters.

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.

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