CHENNAI: In an ongoing operation, a fleet of five Indian Coast Guard ships evacuated more than 400 tourists stranded in Havelock and Neil Islands (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), in the last two days, due
to cyclonic weather since December 14, according to a Coast Guard spokesman.
The spokesman told Express that 308 tourists from Havelock Island, including 80 foreign nationals, stranded due to cyclonic weather, were evacuated by Indian Coast Guard Ships - Aruna Asaf Ali, Rajshree and one interceptor boat.
Similarly, around 100 stranded tourists evacuated from Neil Island, are heading to Port Blair on board two vessels.
WATCH: Tourists stuck on Havelock Islands rescued by Indian Coast Guard
Sources revealed that thousands of tourists have been stranded in both the Islands, as both private and government ships or ferries to Havelock and Neil Islands, could not ply on December 14 and 15 due to inclement weather.
On receipt of request from the Andaman and Nicobar Administration, the Indian Coast Guard immediately sailed a fleet of five ships to both Islands, for evacuation of stranded tourists who were required to board flights to the mainland.
The ship embarked additional divers, rescue boats, sea survival and safety equipment including medical teams, to meet any emergency situation. It is learnt that the Indian Coast Guard fleet will go back to the Islands to evacuate stranded tourists in the Island.
The Coast Guard spokesman said airlines which will be flying back the tourists to Chennai and other destinations, will not be charging extra after flight schedule of many got affected.
The Andaman and Nicobar administration had made suitable arrangements for flying back the tourists, the spokesman added. He said the evacuation measure is an ongoing process as the exact amount of stranded tourists is yet to be ascertained.