KARWAR: An Indian Navy Captain on holiday drowned in the sea at Karwar after his paramotor developed a snag and fell in the water from about 100 feet in the air.
Madhusudan Reddy, 55, could not be located in time by rescuers, and though he was a good swimmer, being tied to the glider took him down, his family said.
Doctors later said he suffered a water shock, leading to drowning. The para pilot, who was with him, also fell in the water and was rescued by life guards and fishermen.
Reddy, who hailed from Andhra Pradesh and was posted in Karwar, was joined by his family from Bengaluru on Friday. They headed to the beach in the evening and all of them took turns with the paramotor.
Engine developed snag when he was 100 ft high: Family
Powered paragliding, which is known as paramotoring, involves a rider wearing a back-mounted motor which provides the thrust to take off, using a paraglider. Reddy’s family members said he was the last to take a ride, around 6.30pm.
The engine developed a technical snag when Reddy was about 100 feet high, and it dropped into the Arabian Sea, a family member said.
Para pilot and owner Vidyadhar Vaidya from Pune also fell with Reddy. What made it hard for Reddy to swim, family members said, was that he was harnessed to the frame with the motor, as all riders are, weighing him down.
With some delay, rescuers brought him alive to the shore but the ambulance did not arrive for about half an hour though the district hospital is just half a kilometre away. Police later took him to hospital in their jeep. Reddy died on the way. Town police have filed a case and a probe is under way.
Paragliding at the beach was stopped for the past six months due to the pandemic. It was restarted on Friday, when life guards returned to work as well. Sources said paramotoring was started at Karwar beach three years ago and this is the first such accident.

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