Cyclone Ockhi: Coast Guard intensifies rescue efforts

[India] December 3 (ANI): As the operations to rescue stranded fishermen affected by severe cyclone Ockhi entered their third day, the Indian Coast Guard has intensified its deployment of ships and aircraft off Kerala coast as well as Lakhadweep Islands.

The Indian Coast Guard said that its personnel are interacting and providing assistance to 28 boats, which have entered Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri harbor, of these, 23 are from Tamil Nadu, three are from Karnataka and the other three from Kerala.

As on date, 11 ships, three dornier aircraft and three helicopters are undertaking extensive search operations in the affected area.

In the wee hours on December 3, the Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Shoor’ reached a remote island Suheli Par in Lakshadweep to rescue five fishermen from a stranded boat “FB Antony”.

The island was almost on the path of the cyclone and bore maximum brunt of the storm.

Though the island is uninhabited, the fishing boat has taken shelter from raging winds and high waves and has escaped the impact.

The Coast Guard ship ‘Shoor’ has reached the location with maximum speed this morning and has recovered all the fishermen onboard.

The fishermen are being given required medical aid and food supplements to recover the condition.

‘Shoor’ has now sailed for the last known position of another boat, which is drifting very near to the predicted path of the cyclone in Lakshadweep islands.

Meanwhile, Coast Guard ship ‘Amartya’ operating near Kerala’s Beypore has also rescued 22 fishermen from boat Thatwamasi about 22 Nm (approx 40 Km) from the coastline.

Another Coast Guard ship ‘Abhinav’, also operating near Beypore, has rescued five people from boat Joyal about 25 Nm from coast line. As per the last update received, Coast Ship Abhinav is proceeding to rescue a fishing boat in distress in the same area.

Coast Guard Ship ‘Samar’, also sailing off Kerala coast has rescued three more fishermen from boat Salaithanne at a location 62 Nm from Kollam coast.

Further, around 28 boats with approx. 300 fishermen onboard, who reached Ratnagiri harbor, are also being provided assistance by the Coast Guard.

As time progresses, the Coast Guard has enhanced its deployment so that all survivors from the cyclone are picked up.

An Offshore Patrol vessel carrying an integral helicopter has also been sailed from Mumbai to augment search operations in Lakshadweep.

Further, efforts are also being made to recover fishermen who could not survive the onslaught of the storm.

Coast Guard District Headquarters, at Kerala and Lakshadweep are maintaining close watch on the situation and reassessing deployment of ships as requirement arises. (ANI)

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