PORT BLAIR: In a joint rescue operation by police, forest and Coast Guard personnel, three Onge tribals have been rescued at the remote Little Andaman Island of South Andaman.
“Coast Guard station at Hut Bay received information from police at 1645 hrs on Friday about three missing Onge tribals. According to locals, they went for hunting at Pathar Nallah adjacent to Dugong Creek on June 14, 2017, and did not return to their settlement,” said commandant Dalip Singh, public relations officer of Coast Guard Region (A&N).
A joint search party was launched for rescuing the tribals. Coast Guard ship C-412 sailed from Hut Bay Port of Little Andaman, for close coast-seaward search near Dugong Creek. The search was in vain due to the dense forest and pitch dark night.
Meanwhile, helicopter-carrying ship Vishwast of the Coast Guard was diverted towards Little Andaman to boost the rescue operation and the chopper was launched in the early hours of Saturday to undertake sea-air coordinated search.
“These efforts paid off as the tribals heard the engine sound of the police marine force boat which was anchored off Bumilla Creek. Consequently, the rescue team located the missing tribals,” said Dalip Singh.
The Onges were in a weak physical state due to starvation and severe dehydration. They were rushed to the medical sub-centre at Onge settlement camp where their vitals were stabilised. “On further advice of paramedic staff, they were shifted to primary health centre, RK Pur, for treatment,” the PRO added.
The Onges call themselves “Eniregale” which means "perfect person". The Onges are considered to be one of their kind in the present world of negritos. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is home to four primitive tribes of negrito origin — Jarawa, Great Andamanes, Onge and Sentinelese. Other than this, there are two tribes of Mongoloid origin — Nicobarese and Shompen.