KARACHI -  Four out of five young friends drowned in the Arabian Sea on Sunday while the rescuers managed to fish out the fifth one alive.

According to police and rescue organisations, a group of friends went to the Hawks Bay late on Saturday for a picnic.

Quoting the lone surviving friend, Umer Khan, police said they had planned to stay at the bay for a night, and planned to swim in the sea early in the morning. “We were taking bath that suddenly a strong wave came and devoured two of our friends while the remaining three were at that time at a distance from the beach. When we tried to rescue our two drowning friends, we also got stuck in the water,” Umer explained.

Police said that when the friends busy rescuing the drowning friends realised the risks, they started searching for the rescue teams. “As rescuers came to know about the incident, they launched the operation to save the drowning friends, but unfortunately four of them had drowned by that time,” it added.

Quoting the rescuers, police said that they immediately reached the site.

Rescuers managed to retrieve them in three phases.

Rescuers said that they could not fish out the four ill-fated friends alive because they had drowned before they could start the operation.

However, they said, they were able to save the life of one of them as he was close to the beach at that time.

The deceased were later identified as Danish, Syed Raza, Mishal and Zubair while Omar was rescued alive.

They were aged between 17 and 25 years. The victims were the residents of Buffer Zone, Federal B Area and Nazimabad. Their bodies were taken to Civil Hospital, Karachi for medico-legal formalities and were later handed over to their families. The fifth friend who had been rescued alive was later discharged from the hospital after medical treatment.

The area police also reached the site and helped the rescuers in retrieving the victims dead or alive.

Police officials said that the victims had drowned while bathing in the sea while no case had been registered since it was an accident.

The incidents of drowning are common during the summer season, when picnickers thronged beaches to beat the soaring temperatures in the city.

But despite number of similar incidents, the authorities concerned do not take the precautionary measures to avoid the recurrence of such incidents.