Valiant woman saves 5 men from watery grave
Dec 21, 2012
A 35-year-old who woman waded through flood waters in the night had saved five men from drowning in Havan Ella Oya in Andiyagala when the cab they were travelling in was caught in rising flood waters. The woman R.M.Nilanthi Ratnayake of Ellewewa who dared to jump into the river at around 10 pm on Tuesday (18) night, saved the five officers of the Palagala divisional secretariat from drowning when their double cab ran off the road and plunged into the river. The woman who could swim extremely well is a mother of one.

The Social Services Officer of the divisional secretariat and the Palagala Headquarter Grama Niladhari and five others were on board the vehicle. The Palagala Divisional Secretary said the five officers would have drowned if not for Nilanthi. Narrating the gruesome experience Divisional Secretary Saman Priyantha Kaluarachchi said the residents of the area should be proud of her prowess Headquarter Grama Niladhari A.B.Seneviratne said: “We were on our way back after visiting the Habarathawala area to provide flood relief. When we entered the bridge a heavy influx of water submerged the bridge and the vehicle plunged into the river. We managed to leave the vehicle, but it was not possible to swim due to the fast flow of the river. When we shouted for help Nilanthi rushed to the scene and jumped into the river at the peril of her own life and saved all of us. It was a miraculous escape and we owe Nilanthi for our survival.”

Nilanthi Ratnayake the valiant woman who risked her own life to save five others said: “I was at my uncle’s house nearby. We heard some people shouting for help and rushed to the scene. I lost no time in jumping into the river and swimming towards the men in trouble. My uncle Heenbanda and his son Amila helped me. Later we learnt that those in trouble were officers of the divisional secretariat. The bridge goes under water even after a slight shower. The height of the bridge should be increased to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents. I am hopeful that the narrow escape of five officers of the divisional secretariat will be an eye opener to the relevant authorities to build a higher bridge.”

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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