Mobile phone helps them survive Phyan cyclone

Float cans attached to fishing net saved them

Survivors: The three fishermen from State who were fortunate to be rescued after being stranded at Arabian sea for 21 hours. DH Photo

As the fishing boat capsized in the gale, they held on to whatever they could lay their hands on to stay afloat. Their grit and determination to stay alive helped six to reach home after battling for nearly 23 hours.

On November 8, the Jeevan -1 fishing boat with 28 fishermen--13 from the state and 15 from Orissa, left Panjim port.

Jeevan -1 was moving at 25 nautical miles speed off Maharashtra's Raigad district. For two days the crew had netted some fish.

Even as the storm was getting stronger, boat owner Hanuman Bawa called them on the mobile phone on November 11 and asked them to return immediately. As Jeevan - 1 started moving towards the shore, it was caught in the gale and the boat overturned. Only eight managed to catch hold of the equipment that could keep them afloat in the water.

They kept telling themselves that they would reach the shore safely. As hours passed, their bodies started feeling weak but they did not lose hopes and clung on to the floating cans. They were made of a sterner stuff and kept sailing in the rough sea. Still two of them drowned. Others thought that the same fate awaited them.

As the sun rose, there was a ray of hope for them.

They were confident that some help could come their way. At around 6 am on November 12 a Coast Guard vessel spotted them and immediately rescued them. They were given first aid on board and later shifted.   Of the six lucky fishermen , four are from Kumta taluk, in Uttara Kannada district. Vinod Ambiga, Bhaskar Ambiga, Manjunath Ambiga and Govind Ambiga , though injured on their chest, limbs, are happy to be alive.  

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