Vijayawada: The Dharmadi Satyam team relied upon conventional practices to salvage Royal Vasishta, the private tourist boat that had capsized in the Godavari last month with 73 passengers on board; 38 bodies were recovered while 11 are still unaccounted for.
The team’s first attempt failed as the river was in flood, currents were strong, and the continuous rainfall rendered zero visibility.
In its second attempt the team made it a prestige issue to trace the boat and pull it out and the team head, Satyam, publicly vowed to bring the boat to shore.
The team’s confidence got a boost when an anchor lowered into the river with the help of an iron rope got stuck to a part of the boat. As a result, the team managed to change the position of the boat which was buried in the river bed. The currents in the river also helped move the boat a few meters from the place of the mishap and changed its position.
The Satyam team brought in eight divers from a private marine agency in Visakhapatnam to do the job of locating the boat.
A tourist boat with all requisite equipment and personnel, a country boat with a big oxygen cylinder and long tubes and a punt were used in the salvage operation in the last few days.
Two divers with oxygen masks would enter the river at the place where the boat had been traced. They would search for the boat with no visibility at a depth of about 40-50 feet.
They finally found the boat, and fixed the anchors attached with steel ropes. An earth mover stationed on the river bund winched up the ropes and this resulted in the iron grill on the boat coming off. Finally, the divers managed to find the propeller shaft of the boat and fixed the anchor attached with the steel rope to it, while another anchor was fixed to the front portion of the boat. This helped pull the boat to the shore without dismantling it....