Six persons drowned in separate incidents in the district on Monday.

In the first incident, three students of Indian Maritime University (IMU), all aged 21, were feared drowned in the sea at Yarada Beach, while in the second, three young girls drowned in the Sarada river at Madurthi village of Chodavaram mandal in the district.

Nineteen students, who were pursuing their second year B. Tech (Naval Architecture) at IMU, went to the Yarada beach to spend the Bakrid holiday. They were playing volleyball on the beach, when the ball fell into the water. Four students got into the water to retrieve the ball. They were dragged into the deep by the strong current. While three were feared drowned, the fourth was rescued by local people.

The names of the missing persons are Giridhar Singh Rathod of Rajasthan and Om Prakash and Sivoham Sivesh of Bihar.

The bodies couldn't be traced till late in the evening. The rescued student was Suman Kumar.

New Port Police are investigating the case.

In the second incident, three girls - Bodi Sandhya, 9, Bodi Hemalatha, 10, and Sara Indu, 8 - all students of Mandal Parishad Upper Primary School of Madhurthi were herding their cattle back home through the Sarada river.

They were given the task as it was a holiday for them on account of Bakrid. The Chodavaram police said that the river ran as a stream at the point taken by the girls. Water was, however, gushing on Monday as Raiwada water was released upstream.

The girls slipped and fell into the river and drowned. Their bodies were sent for post-mortem. A fourth girl who went along with them was rescued.