A group of 31 fishermen stuck in the floodwaters in the Godavari river near the upper cofferdam of the Polavaram Project on Friday morning managed to climb atop the structure near the Gandipochamma temple and are now waiting to be rescued. The NDRF has taken up the rescue operation.
The Navy has dispatched helicopters to airlift the marooned fishermen from the cofferdam as rescue attempts using mechanized boats failed following strong currents in the river. Three of the fishermen were reported to have fainted due to hunger. The helicopters have reached the spot and are making efforts to airlift them.
According to information reaching here, a group of 31 fishermen including 12 women from Dowleswaram went fishing in the Godavari upstream of the Polavaram Project in nine motorboats 80 days ago. Following heavy inflows in the Godavari river for the past 10 days, they started returning.
On Friday, when they started from Kunavaram to Dowleswaram in their boats, they got stuck near the upper cofferdam and their boats started capsizing in the river. However, they managed to pull them to the cofferdam and began crying for help. Locals near Gandipochamma tried to rescue them but could not as the flood in the river was heavy.
They alerted authorities and NDRF teams deployed for rescue and relief operations in the flood-affected areas rushed to the spot. Police and revenue officials have also reached the spot and are making arrangements to shift the fishermen once they are airlifted from the cofferdam to safety.