A cruise in the Alapuzha backwaters turned fatal for the Vizag couple when stormy winds and heavy rain capsized their boat

A couple from Visakhapatnam drowned when their boat sank in the Punnamada lake here on Tuesday.

The deceased were identified as Sagar (30), of Golaveedhi in Beemunipattanam in Visakhapatnam, and his wife Eilisitti Nagamani (26). Eilisitti’s body was retrieved at 5.30 p.m. Search for Sagar’s body continued till late evening.

According to the police, the couple were on a visit to Alappuzha and wanted to go on a cruise in the backwaters. They rented a small boat (shikkara) from the jetty near the KSRTC bus stand. Around 3 p.m. when the boat reached the middle of the lake, towards the east of the Punnamada finishing point, the boat sank following stormy winds and heavy rain. The driver and a helper swam to safety.

The heavy rain hampered rescue operations for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Two boats of State Water Transport Department, which were passing by, stopped and helped in rescue operations. The police and fire and rescue personnel reached the spot within half an hour. The strong undercurrents at the accident site made rescue operations difficult.

The district collector has ordered Additional District Magistrate (ADM) K.P. Thampy to conduct an inquiry into the accident.