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Kovalam beach tragedy: One body found, search on

Kovalam beach tragedy: One body found, search on

Thiruvananthapuram: The body of a youth, who went missing along with four others in the sea at nearby Kovalam Saturday night, was recovered early Sunday even as the combined search by the Coast Guard and police is on to trace the others.

Police said the body of 21-year-old Anoop from Varkala, who was doing a hotel management course in Bengaluru, was recovered in the wee hours today and search is continuing for the remaining four.

Coast Guard sources told PTI that a Dornier aircraft and boat were involved in the search for the missing youth following requests from District Collector Biju Prabhakar and police Commissioner, H Venkatesh.

The five friends had gone for a swim into the rough waters at the remote lighthouse beach in Kovalam despite being asked not to venture into the sea by lifeguards and locals, police said.

Those missing are engineering students-- Jithuraj and Nithin, both aged 21; Akhil, a medical college student from Kozhikode and Abishekh (33), a basketball coach of a nearby college.

Health minister V S Shivakumar said marine enforcement, Coast Guard, local police and fishermen are engaged in the search operations. The Navy's help had also been sought.

Government will take all steps to have more lifeguards and tourism police in the beach area, he said.

Prabhakar said it was very unfortunate that despite being warned, the five youths had gone to bathe in the rough water at 7 PM. The sea has been rough since morning with huge waves hitting the coast.

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