New Delhi [India], Dec 6 (ANI): The Indian Navy has so far provided assistance to 187 persons left stranded on sea, besides saving 148 lives as part of 'Op Sahayam', an exercise for search and rescue, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) launched in the light of Cyclone Okchi.
They have also evacuated three bodies from deep sea.
As per a missive issued by the Southern Naval Command, nine naval ships, including frontline ships from the Western Naval Command INS Chennai, Kolkata and four types of aircraft, including long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I, Dornier, SeaKing and Chetak remained were deployed over an extended SAR area up to 300 miles west of L&M islands and 450 miles off Kerala coast.
"A P8I aircraft carrying out surveillance detected fishing vessel St Damian which was drifting away at 180 miles Northwest of Kavaratti and directed INS Chennai to provide assistance. The 13-member crew were taken on-board Chennai early morning on December 6 and provided with food, water and medical aid. The boat was towed and handed over to the Coast Guard Ship Shoor as part of 'Op Synergy' since the boat engine had become unserviceable and could not be repaired at sea despite best efforts by the team of INS Chennai," the missive read.
On Wednesday, INS Kalpeni embarked six local fishermen from Kochi and INS Kabra embarked two fishermen from Kollam to join the ongoing SAR efforts and to facilitate a guided search for missing fishing vessels, based on specific inputs provided by these fishermen.
"Both naval ships will return to Kochi post completion of the search operations as per guidance offered by the fishermen onboard," it read.
"INS Jamuna positioned at Kavaratti has provided 12,000 litres of fresh water as requested by L&M administration. The HADR material required for the island has already been delivered by INS Chennai," it added.
According to the statement, INS Sharda, returned to Kochi for refuelling, has now embarked materials like 2000 lts fresh water, medicines, food, emergency lights, petrol, portable 10 KVA power generators, tool kits, boiler suits etc as requested by Minicoy administration, which will be delivered in the morning on December 7.
"Minicoy, which faced maximum devastation, is regaining normality with the naval contingent present there actively involving itself in activities such as clearing of roads, cutting of fallen trees, distribution of rations and HADR items to villagers, cleaning of premises of relief camp, and clearing path for helipad and the like," the navy said. (ANI)