CHENNAI: A total of 357 fishermen, including 71 from Tamil Nadu, stranded in sea due to Cyclone Ockhi, were rescued this morning, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.
In addition to the fishermen from Tamil Nadu, 248 from Kerala and 38 from Lakshadweep Islands, were rescued by Airforce, Navy and Coast Guard personnel, she said in a tweet.
"An update on the search and rescue efforts being done by the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force to save the lives of fishermen affected by #CycloneOckhi : 357 fishermen have been saved as of 10 am today," she said in her official Twitter handle.
Sitharaman will visit cyclone-hit Kanyakumari later today to take stock of the situation.
She will be arriving in Kanyakumari this evening from Thiruvananthapuram and is scheduled to stay there till tomorrow, the defence public relations officer here said.
Posting a fact-sheet, Sitharaman said since November 30, the Coast Guard (CG) deployed two ships, an equal number of fixed wing aircraft and one helicopter for search and rescue of Tamil Nadu fishermen.
Similarly, the Coast Guard deployed seven ships in Kerala and one in Lakshadweep islands.
The Navy deployed six ships, two fixed wing aircraft and two helicopters in Kerala while the Air Force deployed one aircraft and two helicopters for Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
On December 2, the Coast Guard deployed one each ship and fixed wing aircraft in Tamil Nadu and eight ships and two fixed wing aircraft (FWA which also took care of Lakshadweep Islands) besides one helicopter for Kerala.
Yesterday, the Navy deployed eight ships, two FWA and four helicopters for Kerala besides two ships and two FWA for Lakshadweep Islands for search and rescue operations.
The Airforce deployed two helicopters for Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
While the CG saved 71 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and 114 from Kerala, the Navy rescued 121 from Kerala and Air Force 15.
Merchant vessels and trawlers saved 36 off the coast of Kerala and Lakshwadeep Islands.