THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Nowadays, when Thansilas goes out to fish, he does not venture too far out to sea. Perhaps half the distance that he once used to, he says. The fisherman, whose green-painted house at Cheriyamuttom sits just a stone’s throw away from the sea, says he’s 65 now, but it’s not age that makes him hesitate. Last November, he had gone missing in the sea for four whole days after the Ockhi cyclone struck.
In the small boat with him were two relatives and another man. Now, when the government has issued yet another cyclone warning, Thansilas recalls the terror of being trapped in mid-sea. He gazes at the cloudy sky and comments that there is a possibility for the weather turning bad.
“There was nothing to eat or drink in the boat. Nothing,’’ he breaks down. ‘’There were four of us. We had not even succeeded in catching any fish. The wind and currents were too strong,’’ says the grey-haired fisherman. After the four men went missing, the families had spent a harrowing time, as defence agencies continued the search. However, four days had passed before Thansilas and the others could be rescued by helicopter and returned home.