In one of the sad and unfortunate incidents around eight people drowned in a sea at Karwar, Karnataka after the boat carrying more than 22 people overturned. More than five people are feared missing and the efforts to rescue the others are still on.
The boat was carrying devotees to Narasimha Jatra in Kurmagad Island off Karwar in Karnataka capsized on Monday afternoon, said the sources.
According to the report published by the Times of India, A total of 22 persons were on the boat when it capsized. The sources have revealed that around 9 people who were clinging to the boat after it capsized were rescued and brought to Karwar Medical College. Police and coast guard is searching for the rest of the people.
Kurmagad which is an island in the Arabian Sea, 3 km off Karwar coast, has a temple which opens for only two days in a year. More than 25,000 people visit the island every year to offer the puja. The devotees mainly comprise of the people from coastal and north Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.
According to one of the eyewitness Darshan Shirodkar, who was on the capsized boat, they were returning to Karwar around 3 pm from the island after offering the puja at Narasimha temple in Kurmagad island.
The report further states that when the mechanised boat reached near the confluence of the Arabian Sea and Kali river, there was high tide and the helmsman lowered the speed of the boat and halted it.
After few minutes, when he tried to move the boat and the boat leaned to one side. There was commotion and those who were on a boat in a panic tried to come to the opposite side and the boat capsized.
“The boat took three turns in the water and I went into the water, but could manage to hold the tip of the boat. Eight others who knew the swimming too clung to the boat. Rest were washed away in the water. We sat in mid-sea on the capsized boat for20 minutes,’’ he said.
“There were about five to six other boats ferrying the devotees which tried to save the people. But the people in those boats were so panicky that the drivers of the boats dared not to come near us. The fishermen in the vicinity rushed to us and saved us. I am unable to recover from the shock,’’ he added.
Roopali Naik, Karwar MLA, who too was returning from the temple, could take only six people on her boat, said the sources.
The fishermen and the Coastal Security Police rushed to the spot and saved the people who were clinging on to the capsized boat. Senior officials of the district administration including the DC, SP and ZP CEO rushed to the hospital.
The bodies received by the police have been shifted to the Medical College and the injured are being given the treatment. The search for the rest of the people is on. Of the deceased, one baby is identified as Nilesh Rohidas Pednekar, 4, and rest of the persons (six women and a male) have yet to be identified.