As hopes of finding anyone alive on INS Sindhurakshak recedes, a pall of gloom has set in at the house of E. Vikas, a seaman from Kolassery in Thalassery who was on the submarine when it sunk on August 14.
The 23-year-old was among the 18 Navy personnel trapped inside the submarine that sunk following a series of explosions at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.
He is the eldest of the three children of K.V. Krishnadas, of Kolassery Veettil, and Valsala. The tragedy happened nearly six months after he left home to resume duty in Mumbai.
According to sources close to the family of Vikas, there is a sense of despair among the relatives especially after charred bodies of four trapped Naval personnel were found.
T.K. Preman, Councilor in the Thalassery Municipality and a resident of Kolassery, said Mr. Krishnadas, who was now in Mumbai, spoke to him over the phone and told him of the ongoing operation to find the crew of the submarine.
The Naval officials were frequently updating the relatives of the trapped crew members on the operation, Mr. Preman quoted Mr. Krishnadas as saying. Mr. Krishnadas had left for Mumbai on Wednesday after the information about the mishap reached the family.
Vikas had joined the Navy as a seaman nearly three years ago after completing his schooling at the Kavumbhagam High School and the AKG Higher Secondary School at Pinarayi.
Before he was posted in Mumbai, Vikas had served in Kochi and Visakhapatnam. His younger brother Vaishakh is an engineering student in Mangalore and sister Sreevidya is studying in class X in a local school.
Special Correspondent writes from Kochi: Radio operator V. Vishnu, 21, who was serving aboard the ill-fated submarine INS Sindhurakshak that sank in Mumbai after a series of blasts a few days ago, was the sole breadwinner for his family residing at Pallippad in Haripad.
Son of Koyitharayil Viswombharan, a daily wage worker, and Sujatha, Vishnu got enlisted in the Navy about two years ago when he was pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in science.
“He was a bright student and his selection was considered a great help for the family financially,” said Shibukumar, Vishnu’s uncle, who has accompanied Vishu’s father to Mumbai after the Navy informed the family of the tragedy on Wednesday.
Vishnu’s younger sibling Vinayakan is a diploma student who looked up to his brother.
“Vishnu, happy about his choice of career, had arrived in Mumbai from Vizag on August 5. On August 14 morning, Navy informed the family of the accident and asked two family members to immediately leave for Mumbai. We don’t know what actually happened…,” said the relative.
Staff Reporter writes from Thiruvananthapuram: Mediapersons made a beeline for the house of Lt. Commander R. Venkat Raj on Friday only to find it locked.
Neighbours told The Hindu that his father T.V.R. Potti and mother had left for Mumbai soon after the news of explosion on board INS Sindhurakshak, an Indian Navy submarine, broke. Their son was among the three officers on board the diesel submarine when it sank soon after the massive twin blasts.
S.S. Anand, Mr. Potti’s neighbour and office-bearer of the local unit of the RSS, said that Venkat was known in the neighbourhood during his student days as a well-mannered and polite boy.