Suryakant Jena

At least 11 fishermen stranded in Bay of Bengal amid the rough sea conditions due to approaching cyclone Asani have been airlifted to safety by the personnel of the Indian Coast Guard.

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner PK Jena informed about the development at a press meet on Monday. 

Some fishermen reported to be residents from Chikiti area of Ganjam district were returning from Vishakhapatnam to Ganjam on a boat. However due to some technical glitches in the boat, they were left stuck in the sea around 1 km from the coast near Sunapur in Ganjam, Jena told reporters.

The fishermen were unable to negotiate through the rough waters due to high tide in the wake of approaching cyclonic storm, SRC Jena said, adding that his department soon swung into action after it was informed about the incident by Ganjam district collector.

The SRC office coordinated with the Coast Guard DIG at Paradip following which a rescue operation was immediately launched with the help of a chopper.

Ganjam district Collector took to Twitter to inform that all the 11 fishermen on board the boat have been airlifted safely to the coast. 

Narrating the incident, a leader of the local fishermen group said that the group had traveled to Vishakhapatnam to buy boat and nets and were sailing on their return journey for the last two days.

"We tried to act according to the directive from the government to ensure immediate return of fishermen from deep-sea in view of the impending cyclone, however, we were helpless. The situation turned worse today when the motor installed in their boat malfunctioned during their journey leaving them stranded in the sea just near the Odisha coast. Fortunately, one of the fishermen on the boat managed to seek help from his relative through his mobile phone. And all of them were rescued safely thanks to the timely intervention of the district administration, the SRC, and the Indian Coast Guard," said the fishermen's leader.