Police say 13 college students on a school picnic have drowned while swimming in the sea in western India.

Senior police official Raja Pawar said the 10 female and three male students were swept away Monday after they went into the water in Murud, a beach town about 150 kilometers (95 miles) south of Mumbai.

About 115 students and 11 teachers from a college in the town of Pune had gone to Murud for a picnic.

Coast guard officers and police using speedboats launched a search in the sea.

The Murud beach has a dangerous undertow. Pawar said the students were warned by local residents not to go far out in the sea but ignored the warnings.