December 4, 2017
Image credit : Illustrative Image
Survivors from among the fishermen, victims of Cyclone Ockhi all, reached Kanyakumari district to safety from high seas after they somehow managed to reach the shore.
“Only god saved my life. We were thrown into the sea by Ockhi” fishermen, surrounded by their well-wishers and near and dear ones, told private television channels.
But they have one grouse.
Indian Coast Guard, carrying out search operations, was doing so only within 40 km from the shore and not 200 km where fisher folk went out for deep sea fishing when the Cyclone caught them in its grip.
One of the fishermen said that he saw several bodies floating around when he was in mid sea. Actually fishermen who go out for deep sea fishing are gone for several days in sea and return just before Christmas. “So only after Christmas can we know how many returned and how many fell victims to Cyclone Ockhi,” the fisherman said.
Kanyakumari fishermen association officials said that nearly 1000 fishermen had gone into sea before Ockhi arrived.
Their relatives and friends are a worried lot.
At Neerodi village in Kanyakumari district, women folk came out and staged protest on the roads demanding fast and quick rescue of their loved ones.
As opposed to the allegations of fishermen, defence sources maintained that ICG carried out search operations between 100-150 nautical miles.
Government release issued on Sunday said 32 Tamil Nadu fishing boats with 346 fishermen took safe shelter at Karwar out of 129 fishing boats and 1,247 fishermen belonging to Kerala, Karnataka and Maharshtra. Another 25 TN fishing boats took shelter at Meriya Bander, Rathnagiri and Devgarh.
In addition, 80 fishing boats from Kerala, 45 fishing boats from Karnataka, 15 fishing boats from Goa have reached safely at various ports.
ICG has deployed three ships and one air craft to continue search operations off Kanyakumari coast.
In all, 11 Coast Guard ships, two air crafts and two helicopters were carrying out search and rescue operations off Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka , Maharashtra, Lakshadweep and Minicoy coast, the government press release said.