Against all odds, 13 fishermen have survived cyclone ‘Maha’ and reached safe shore at Kochi Fisheries Harbour in Kerala.
The fishermen on board the mechanised boat ‘Maatha’ sailed south, off Kanniyakumari coast, at deep sea and were engaged in fishing beyond 200 nautical miles. While they were engaged in deep-sea fishing, they were asked to return to the nearest shore at the earliest predicting impacts of cyclone ‘Kyaar’. However, the cyclone warning did not reach them, who were already in the deep-sea fishing days ahead of the schedule. Recalling the four-day ordeal at sea since October 28, one of the survivors C. Ramani Boy of Eraviputhenthurai, a coastal hamlet in Kanniyakumari district, when contacted, said the crew was not aware of the cyclone ‘Kyaar’ because they were engaged in fishing south off Kanniyakumari.
Moreover, the crew was not aware of cyclone ‘Maha’ and did not even get the alert until they were left stranded at high seas. When the cyclone swept over, the crew managed to survive with fishing net that was cast. The cyclonic storm displaced water tank from the boat and caused damage to the boat’s wheel house. The hapless fishermen were then destined to brave the rough sea and managed to swim across to Kochi shore. During these harrowing days, the crew in distress managed to survive just by swallowing seawater. It was a rebirth for the crew, the survivor said thanking the Almighty.
However, official sources said 73 fishermen on board six boats were fishing in safe waters and it was authenticated by the Coast Guard after its aerial surveillance. Those fishermen were expected to return between October 10 and 15.