Nation Current Affairs 05 Dec 2017 Cyclone Ockhi: We fo ...

Cyclone Ockhi: We fought hard, but lost one

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | KRISHNA KUMAR K E
Published Dec 5, 2017, 7:04 am IST
Updated Dec 5, 2017, 7:04 am IST
Fishermen who were rescued by Navy on how they faced Ockhi.
A fisherman rescued by Navy and brought to the Kochi shore in Navy ship INS Kalpeni comes out with the engine of his boat that got destroyed in the sea at Naval Base on Monday. Most fishermen are not willing to get into rescue boats leaving their boats and other belongings. (Photo: ARUNCHANDRA BOSE)
 A fisherman rescued by Navy and brought to the Kochi shore in Navy ship INS Kalpeni comes out with the engine of his boat that got destroyed in the sea at Naval Base on Monday. Most fishermen are not willing to get into rescue boats leaving their boats and other belongings. (Photo: ARUNCHANDRA BOSE)

Kochi: The three set off for fishing off Vizhinjam harbour on a pleasant day on November 30 not having any grasp of the impending danger. Nine hours later, they found themselves trapped in the path of Cyclone Ockhi and from then on, it was a struggle for survival which one of them lost. 40-year old Babu ventured into the sea along with  friends Antony (43) and Nikolas (41) at 3 pm in a mechanised country craft. Around midnight, strong winds threatened to throw them off their boat and the three clung to the boat after throwing away half the fishing nets and other materials to keep the balance.

“However, the sea was too rough with tides as high as six metres. The engine developed a glitch and got turned off. Now our only aim was to prevent the boat from tumbling as it means losing our lives. However, Nikolas got thrown away and went missing. For the next two days, the boat was floating around in the sea. We’re trying to steer the boat towards shore but the wind and the rough sea were taking us further deeper,” recollected Antony, said he was more worried about his three daughters and wife then.

 

They ran out of whatever little food they had and as time ticked away they lost all hopes of getting back to the shore alive. “Finally we decided to face the fate together. On third day we could see a ship light and we took a pole and tied the boat flag before waving it. Luckily the Navy personnel spotted us. They took us in the ship which had other rescued fishermen. We’re shifted to INS Kalpeni on Monday morning and brought to the Kochi shores four hours later,” Antony said.

A total of 11 fishermen were brought ashore by Navy ship INS Kalpeni at 12. 15 noon. The Navy handed them over to the civil administration authorities. Similarly nine other fishermen rescued by fishing boats which went to the sea yesterday were brought to the Fort Kochi Coastal Police station. “All the rescued were in good health. Three of our bigger ships and helicopters continue the search and rescue operation in the high sea while two small ships are used to bring the rescued to the shore. Five other ships are deployed around the cyclone hit Lakshadweep Island to carry out the relief and rescue operations,” said Navy spokesperson Commander Sridhar Warrier. Meanwhile, 110 more fishing boats which had ventured into the sea days ago are yet to return.

 

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Location: India, Kerala




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