Painful wait for ‘missing’ fishermen

G. Nagaraja
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Three bodies have been recovered, while search is on for two more bodies

Heart-wrenching:Relatives of the victims of those, who died in boat capsize, wailing.–Photo: a.v.g. prasad
Heart-wrenching:Relatives of the victims of those, who died in boat capsize, wailing.–Photo: a.v.g. prasad

It was a long wait filled with pain and sorrow for family members of the fishermen, who went missing after a country boat capsized in the Godavari on Sunday evening.

The bodies of Kollu Lakshmi (28), Kollu Gowramma (30) and Seru Joshimani (18) were recovered after five hours of intense search by the National Disaster Relief Force and local fishermen. Search for two other bodies was continuing when reports last came in. By the time the 45 member-team from the NDRF swung into action around 9 a.m., local swimmers had traced a body four km downstream an aqueduct near P.Gannavaram.

Twenty-eight persons, all from the fishermen community, had set out from this island habitation to perform pooja to the new fishing boat at the Masenamma temple at Pedamallam on the other side of the river. On their way back the boat capsized.

Inhabitants of this island village broke down on seeing the bodies. It was a sleepless night all through Sunday for the village with 5,000 population, who waited a bated breath to hear anything about the ‘missing’ persons. Superintendent of Police M. Ramesh told The Hindu that the rescue team was working overtime to trace the bodies.

According to Prasanti Dev, a member of the NDRF rescue team, the team was struggling hard to understand the depth and velocity of the current at the origin of the distributaries – the Vasista and the Vyanateya -- the point where the boat capsized.

“The local fishermen told us the depth at the scene of the accident was 10 ft. When we sent one of our team members deep into the river with the help of a rope, it was found to be more than 25 ft,” he said. The bodies were swept away as far as 10 km away from the accident spot beyond the P. Gannavaram aqueduct , which could be one of the factors hindering the progress of rescue operations.

The SP said arrangements were made for conducting autopsy on the bodies on the spot.

  • Bodies swept away as far as 10 km from the accident spot

  • Rescuers told that the depth at accident site was 10 ft., but it was found to be over 25 ft. deep

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