Eleven youth had come to the beach to celebrate the Friendship Day on Sunday. While swimming on the beach, they were caught in a strong current. Six of them managed to swim safely to the shore, but five drowned.
"Police officials were present at the spot but they were unable to do any thing, instead they were demanding money. When we asked for immediate help from the fishermen present on the spot, they demanded money for saving them. They demanded 4000 rupees, so we gave them the money but still they did not help us," said Azmir Mustafa, a student.
Both the Indian Navy and coast guard carried out search operations immediately but it took a long time for the skilled swimmers to trace the bodies.
Four bodies were traced on Monday morning. The deceased were identified as Appa Rao, Joedeep, Madeena Vali, Kishore and Jnanesh.
"We are very upset on hearing the news. They were all residents of Visakhapatnam and studied in NRI College," said Mastan Vali, a police official.
Rushikonda beach is highly accident-prone and has reported a high number of drowning cases. Every year approximately 50 people drown on this beach. (ANI)