Lifeguard dies saving woman; Kerala Govt announces job for his wife

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Thursday decided to provide a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and a government job to the widow of a coastal lifeguard, who died while saving a woman from drowning in the sea near here.

Gabriel Johnson, 43, went missing at the famous Shankumugham beach on 22 August after rescuing a girl who accidentally fell into the sea and was drowning. His body was found two days later near a pier.

“The state cabinet which met today decided to give Rs ten lakh to the family of Johnson,” Chief Minister Vijayan said. Vijayan said Johnson’s wife will be given a job in the Tourism Department based on her educational qualifications.

“He (Johnson) lost his life while saving a woman who fell in the sea. He had displayed an exemplary act of courage in a daring attempt to save her. His family will be given Rs 10 lakh and his wife will be given a job in the tourism department as per her qualifications,” Vijayan said.

Johnson, along with other lifeguards had to deal with a deadly combination of high tide and stiff undercurrents while saving the woman. Witness told the media that after the woman was rescued, huge waves slammed him against the debris of the broken steps on the beach. His body was recovered two days later from near the Valiathura pier.