KARWAR: Eight people drowned and several others went missing when a boat with 33 on board capsized off Karwar coast on Monday afternoon. The boat has a capacity of 22 people, and none of the passengers had life jackets. While rescuers saved 18 people, seven others remained untraced till search was called off for the day.
A 35-year-old man stayed under the capsized boat for 20 minutes till he was rescued.
The boat, belonging to a private company, was ferrying the people from Kurumgad Island to the mainland. They had gone there to take part in the Lord Narasimha car festival, and were returning when tragedy struck. Superintendent of Police Vinayak Patil said boat owner Dayanand Jadhav and three crew members, including boat driver, have been arrested. Meanwhile, the government has announced 2 lakh for the kin of each victim.
Karnataka: 6 dead after a boat capsized near Karwar, earlier today. There were around 22 people on board. Fisherman and coastguard have found six bodies till now, while others are missing. Search operation underway. pic.twitter.com/NgtJJ8mKWB— ANI (@ANI) January 21, 2019
Search continues for missing victims today
Police said the deceased are three-year-old Arun Somappa, Manjavva Somu, Bharathi Parashuram of Shiggaon in Haveri district; Ganapathi Kotarkar and his wife Meenakshi of Kadwad near Karwar; Annakka Ingaladal of Kustgi in Koppal district; Neelesh Pednekar of Mumbai and Geeta Talekar of Ponda in Goa. Of the rescued people, eight are being treated at the Karwar Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS). As soon as the boat, belonging to the Devabag Adventure Boating Centre, capsized, other boats nearby rushed to the rescue.
The Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Coastal Security Police were also pressed into action. A boat, which had MLA Roopali Naik on board, rescued eight people from the capsized boat. Roopali Naik said their boat went to the spot and managed to rescue eight people, including a child, and took them to the mainland. Other survivors sat on the boat and waited for the rescue teams. “It’s possible that the occupants of the boat came to one side causing the vessel to list when a large wave hit it. ,” said a police official.
Two helicopters from the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, four boats of the ICG and CSP and three fishing boats had been searching for the missing persons till late evening. The search is expected to begin again on Tuesday morning.
Man stays under boat
35-year-old Navin Palankar from Karwar, who was under the capsized boat, survived by holding onto the rods on the seats of the boat. When the boat started sinking, he climbed up till the rescue teams arrived. “I was shocked and losing hope. But I could breathe as I kept holding on to the seat of the boat till the rescue team arrived,” he said.
Defence Minister tweets
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted over Karwar boat tragedy. She said “diving team from Karwar Naval Base have been deployed to search the seven missing persons. Fast interceptor crafts and helicopters have also been deployed.