Amid Titli threat, Gopalpur Port team saves lives of Andhra fishermen

Berhampur: A few hours before the landfall of cyclonic storm Titli when people and fishermen in the coastal areas were being rushed to shelters, a team of Gopalpur port showed massive courage by undertaking rescue of the crew members of around 50 deep sea fishing trawlers of Andhra Pradesh who had ventured into the sea.

With the help of district administration, ODRAF & Indian Coast Guard, the team was able to rescue crew members of more than half a dozen vessels and provided shelter to the 50 fishing vessels.

According to sources, around 50 fishing trawlers of Andhra Pradesh entered the harbour of Gopalpur Port on October 10 morning, facing rough sea condition due to the severe cyclonic storm.

Reportedly, the Indian Metrological Department, Indian Coast Guard and various state government agencies had issued repeated advisories and specific caution notices for the fishermen not to venture into the sea and also the fishermen at sea to return back to their respective bases.

In spite of the notice, many fishing trawlers in violation of the advisory and warnings were still undertaking fishing activities till the advent of the cyclonic storm putting their lives and trawlers at risk.

As a result, when cyclone Titli hit Gopalpur coast on the morning of October 11, 50 trawlers and the on board fishermen found themselves stranded.

It was then that the Gopalpur port, as a humanitarian gesture, provided shelter to the 50 fishing vessels and also undertook rescue of the crew members of some of the boats in close cooperation of District administration, ODRAF & Indian Coast Guard.

While the Gopalpur office became the node for the district administration and port authorities for rescue operations that continued throughout the night of October 10 till early morning of October 11.

Though the safe shelter provided by the port put the safety of the port at risk with potential damage due to sunken vessels and under construction infrastructure.

Despite this, the port authorities, under the guidance of District administration, ODRF and Indian Coast Guard, prioritized the life of fishermen.

The rescue efforts were jointly carried out by the departments as mentioned above throughout the intervening night of 10th & 11th October as a result ‘Zero Casualty’ was achieved.