We arrived at Pokhara lake nestled within the Himalayan mountains for a peaceful sunset canoe ride. As I approached the man in charge of boat rentals, he kindly gestured for me to wait just a moment as he answered his cell phone. Then his relaxed facial expression completely changed to concern as he quickly grabbed for his binoculars and turned his gaze to the middle of the vast lake. He seemed to be searching anxiously for something and placed the phone down to his chest to yell something in Nepali. The vibe in the air turned tense and tragedy unfolded before my eyes....
(Above) Life Jackets were quickly thrown into several canoes as boat workers desperately jumped in too.
(Above) Workers paddled frantically into the lake without stopping to put on their own life jackets.
(Above) A rescuer's dog saw him rushing off and thought, "Where are you going? I'll be waiting here..."
(Above & below) As word spread across the small community about a boat accident, many people gathered around the lakeshore.
(Above) Some people started praying. Others stood silently, just waiting.
(Above) The boat rental workers returned carrying several unconscious survivors to shore.
(Above) A military rescue team arrived late to the scene.
(Above) A giant raft and rescue equipment was prepared.
(Above) People waited patiently for an update.
(Above) A boat worker put all the boats away for the evening.
(Above) In times of tragedy, Nepalis unite.
(Above) Rescuers solemnly prepared to enter the lake and look for the bodies of two Nepali people.
(Above) Local children played as rescuers looked for bodies.
(Above) A story soon spread that six people survived a boat accident, but two were not so lucky.
A Nepali man walked around the crowd pointing down with two fingers and then up to the sky. His gestures silently explained, 'two people went down underwater, and then strait up to heaven' that day.