It was the Dharmapuri Collector and the Superintendent of Police who kept our hopes alive throughout the night by talking to us over public address system, said the four persons who were rescued from the Cauvery River by Indian Air Force personnel.

C. Madhappan alias Durairaj (56) and coracle operators G. Muthu (43), R. Sahadeven (28) and M. Ramakrishnan (47) climbed on to trees to escape the flood fury as the Cauvery was in full flow.

Madhavan was washed away by the floods while he was taking bath on Sunday afternoon near Muthalaipannai. He caught hold of a tree branch in the nick of time to escape being washed into the main falls. The other three, who set out on a coracle to rescue him, jumped into the river later when they found it impossible to steer away from the falls.

Madhavan told that though he was diabetic, he survived over 18 hours only on the hope of rescue held out by the Collector K. Vivekanandan and Superintendent of Police Asra Garg. “We endured pounding rain and ant and insect bites throughout the night only because the officials and the public, who whistled often, kept our hopes alive,” said Madhappan.

Ramakrishnan said the Indian Air Force personnel found it difficult to locate the tree in which they were perched on. Hence, he climbed to the top of the tree and waved at them.

Dupe for MGR

Madhavan’s family members said he was a dupe for M.G. Ramachandran in a scene that showed the actor diving into the River Cauvery at Hogenakkal Falls in the film “Adimaippen.” Ramakrishnan’s family members said he had saved three or four lives earlier from strong currents in the river, but this time things were beyond him.

This copy has been corrected for factual error.

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