THOOTHUKUDI: At least nine tourists, including three children and five women, drowned when a fibre-reinforced plastic boat capsized about one nautical mile off the Manappad coast, near the temple town of Thiruchendur in Thoothukudi district, around 6 pm on Sunday.
Of the 9 killed, one was from Tiruchy and the others were from Azhagammanpuram in Thoothukudi district.
Sources said the boat capsized while returning to the shore and local fishermen rushed to rescue the tourists, but by then, nine of them had drowned. “Those rescued are being treated at hospitals in Thiruchendur and Thoothukudi. The exact toll will be known only after some time,” Thoothukudi Superintendent of Police (SP) Ashwin M Kotnis told Express.
Sources said the boat capsized because of overcrowding and the rough sea. They said the fishing boat had nets heaped on one side and tourists on the other, which apparently led to the capsize. Though Manapad is an emerging tourist centre, the State Tourism Department does not operate boats for the tourists, sources said.
The deceased were identified as M Jeyaraman (42), J Muthulakshmi, A Usha Rani (35), S Murugeshwari, G Muthulakshmi (20), A Sundareswaran (7), V Surendran (10) and S Aakash (9), from Azhagammanpuram, and K Suganya (25), from Tiruchy.
Though Suganya’s husband Karthikeyan managed to rescue five persons, he was unable to save her.