Mumbai: In a dramatic rescue operation, the Indian Coast Guard saved six fishermen, who included two children, from the rough sea after their boat sank off the Daman coast, an official said here on Friday. The operation lasted nearly 12 hours after the Coast Guard station in Daman received the emergency message about the sinking boat at about midnight on Thursday.
"A CG Dornier aircraft was flown to the reported position. However, since the Arabian Sea was rough due to the pre-monsoon conditions, it was difficult to spot the tiny sinking vessel in the rough seas. The visibility was hazy," the official said.
According to him, the spotting of the small target was a challenging mission with the Dornier having to fly very low -- but the boat was spotted soon.
Holding onto a rope, the six fishermen were stranded on a few wooden planks. The stem of the boat remained above the waterline.
The Dornier made another low sortie and dropped a life raft and relayed their position to nearby Coast Guard vessels, two of which set sail for the rescue.
A request was also sent to ONGC`s offshore vessel Mahananda to help out. It spotted the life raft with the fishermen, who were later picked up.