Panic prevailed as a group of tourists on board a tourist boat operated by the Forest Department came to halt in the middle of the Thekkady reservoir due to a technical snag, on Friday.
About 40 tourists, including foreigners, women and children, on board the double decker boat got stranded for over an hour.
Later, a KTDC boat was sent to ferry the tourists from the faulty boat to the shore.
The reason stated for the snag was the slackening of three bolts of the rudder which helps in navigating the vessel. However, the Forest Department sources termed the fault minor. “Such things happen in the reservoir as the boats have to constantly do manoeuvring owing to the presence of stumps in the reservoir. Only one bolt of the boat got loose which had caused the breakdown. It was corrected easily,” they said.
The boat was on its last trip for the day at 3.30 pm on Friday. The same boat resumed service on Saturday. The boat is about three years old and is maintained at the workshop owned by the department, sources said. The Forest Department operates two boats in the section.
There are reports of tourists growing restive and there was a difficult situation at the boat operators office. The snag also disturbed the schedule of many tourists who had planned to visit other destinations after the boat journey.
There are also reports of tourists complaining of shortage of life-saving jackets.
But the Tourism Department dismissed such reports.