People in the area led by the MLA gave a reception to Dewang Subil (right), police officers and the fishermen for the rescue operation
SOURCE Times Of India THRISSUR: The rather adventurous operation using a drone camera by a 19-year old engineering student Dewang Subil from Thalikulam played the critical role in the rescue of four fishermen who went missing in the high seas off Nattika on Tuesday morning.
According to state general secretary of all Kerala fishing boat operators’ association Joseph Xavier Kalappurakkal it was for the first time that drone cameras were used for rescuing fishermen in the state.
Dewang, who is a second year engineering student at Christ University in Bengaluru, was sailing for the first time, when he ventured into the sea in a fishing boat with other fishermen for the rescue operation.
Karappam Veettil Ekbal, 49, Chembanadan Kuttan, 59, Puthanparan Subramanian, 60, and Chembanadan Vijayan, 58, had set sail from Thambankadavu in a country craft around 4am. Their boat capsized mid sea, roughly about nine nautical miles off Nattika coast. Kuttan could somehow alert his friends and authorities about the accident.
The coastal police and other fishermen immediately launched a search operation. Around 10am, Debang was alerted by his father Subil Ernath about the incident. He immediately rushed to the beach with his recently acquired drone camera. With the support of Nattika MLA Geetha Gopi he persuaded the fishermen to venture into the sea for another round of rescue operation, though by then the hopes of rescuing the missing fishermen had receded.
“It was tough to operate the drone cameras in the deep seas with high waves and strong wind. Some had warned me that I will vomit as I was not used to sea sail. But when the camera captured first vague images of some moving objects, I became hopeful. And when I focussed the camera, we could clearly see three fishermen struggling to stay afloat. We moved towards their direction and rescued them. The fourth person was located by another search team from a nearby location. I’m immensely satisfied now as I could contribute in the rescue of missing fishermen,” Dewang said.
All the four rescued fish workers have been hospitalized. People in the area led by the MLA and the block panchayat division member Bhageesh Pooradam gave a rousing reception to Dewang, the coastal police and fishermen who had undertaken the rescue op braving their lives.