Proactive CM saves 18 stranded TN fishermen - The New Indian Express

Proactive CM saves 18 stranded TN fishermen

Published: 15th October 2013 08:11 AM

Last Updated: 15th October 2013 03:09 PM

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s timely intervention helped rescue 18 fishermen who were stranded mid-sea off Odisha coast due to the rough seas caused by Cyclone Phailin on Sunday.

Eighteen fishermen hailing from Thoothur, Eludesam Chinnathurai, Iraiyumanthurai, Melmidalam and Kodimunai in Vilavancode block of Kanyakumari district were involved in deep sea fishing off the Odisha coast since September 22 in two mechanised fishing vessels. The fisherfolk from Thoothur and neighbouring hamlets are known for deep sea fishing.

Their fishing vessels ‘Jai Bhavanputra’(IND-OR-07-MM-1203) and ‘Jai Bajrangbali’ (IND-OR-07-MM-4) were duly registered with the Odisha Fisheries Department and had been engaged in deep sea fishing in Odisha for the past two years with Astharanka fishing harbour as their base.

After learning that Cyclone Phailin was to make a landfall between Paradip and Gopalpur, the fishermen attempted to head towards land on October 12.

Due to the inclement weather, they could not proceed towards the land and in the process, exhausted their fuel. They then contacted their families at Kanyakumari through mobile phone.

According to a press release, when the matter was brought to the notice of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, she immediately ordered the Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry, and the Dairy and Fisheries Secretary to take all measures on warfooting to rescue the stranded fishermen by contacting the Indian Coast Guard, Navy and top officials of Odisha. Acting on the Chief Minister’s order, the top brass of the State sought the help of the Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha.

Subsequently, the Indian Coast Guard - Chennai contacted its Kolkata unit to search for and rescue the stranded fishermen.

The vessels of the fishermen were damaged in the cyclone and they reached a coastal hamlet - Ramadurai in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha.

The hamlet, which was affected in the cyclone, was cut off from other parts of the district in terms of telecommunication, transport and power, which made it tough for relief measures including medicines, food and water to reach the fishermen.

The matter was taken up with the Odisha Government and the district administration, and the Coast Guard rushed the relief to the hamlet and provided medical aid besides food, water and clothes for the affected fishermen and took them to the district headquarters.

“It was because of the timely intervention of the Chief Minister that the fishermen were rescued”, the release added.

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