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Alert soldiers pull out drowning man from Hooghly

Posted on Mar 18 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, March 18 : Four alert soldiers saved the life of a drowning man from river Hooghly in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, an official said Tuesday.

The soldiers, on duty at a mooring station of the army's 'Inland Water Transport' operational unit of engineers near Dakshineswar in the district, noticed the drowning man feebly shouting for help in the fast flowing river Sunday.

The man, who later identified himself as Nagesh Singh from Barrackpore, had fallen off the bailey bridge near Dakshineswar temple, a defence spokesman said.

At first the soldiers - NCOs Naik U.B. Jadhav, Naik P.J. Kadam, Lance Havaldar B.R. Patil and Sapper Vipin Kumar - tried to rescue him with the help of a boat hook that eventually gave away due to strong currents.

The four then launched a survey boat anchored nearby, manoeuvred the craft against the high tide currents, and managed to grab the drowning man who had all but given up hope.

Having swallowed a great amount of water after failing to hold onto the lifeline in a few earlier attempts, the man was then pulled ashore nearly unconscious by the soldiers and revived.

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