Indian Navy's search and rescue operations continued for the third day
over Southeast Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands in the aftermath
of Very Severe Cyclonic Storm 'OCKHI' on December three. The ships deployed by
the Southern Naval Command include IN Ships Sagardhwani, Jamuna, Nireekshak,
Kabra and Kalpeni off the Kerala coast and Sharda , Shardul towards Lakshadweep
islands. Besides this three air craft viz, Dornier (Do) fixed wing aircraft,
Seaking Helicopter (SK) and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) were also deployed
throughout the day.
A total of 84 fishermen have been rescued over the last two days which
includes 62 by aircrafts and 22 by ships. Additionally, transfer of two dead
bodies was also effected through ALH to Thiruvananthapuram after being picked
up by INS Sagardhwani.
Of the 62 people rescued by naval aircraft 8 personnel were
transferred to Kochi in batches of 04 after being picked up 20 Nautical miles
southwest and 80 nautical miles west of Kochi respectively. Those evacuated to
Kochi were given preliminary first aid at naval clinic at INS Garuda before
being handed over to the civil administration. The rest of the rescued persons
have been transferred to Thiruvananthapuram.
INS Shardul from Kochi is heading towards Minicoy islands with
Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) “bricks”, which includes
water, dry provisions, medical equipment, blankets, diving team, generators,
salvage equipment, desalination and decontamination kits, diving team and has a
Chetak helicopter embarked.
The relief material would
sustain 2000 persons for over a period of seven days. INS Sharda is heading
towards Kavaratti islands with HADR material sufficient to last for more than
seven days for 500 people. The ship while proceeding to the islands saved nine
lives from a capsized boat in distress enroute.
Naval ships fom Mumbai, INS Chennai, Kolkata and Trikand have also
sailed out from Mumbai for Lakshadweep and Minicoy (LAM) islands with HADR
material sufficient for approximately 5000 persons and would last for more than
seven days. Androth and Kavaratti are reported to be experiencing strong winds
of 40-60 knots coupled high swells of 3-4 metres with a sea state of 5-6. All
the ships are expected to reach LAM by morning tomorrow
In addition to the aircraft from Kochi, the P8I aircraft from
Arakkonam with greater reach is being used to maintaining a close vigil
continuously over the sailing ships and provide inputs if any. The areas close
to coast would continuously be monitored using DO aircraft from Kochi.
Update: A total of 357
fishermen, including 71 from Tamil Nadu, stranded in sea due to Cyclone Ockhi,
were rescued Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday.