Gujarat being on high alert for last two days with the fear of Ockhi Cyclone many fishermen from Kerala and Tamil Nadu (TN) were stuck in the middle of the sea on Tuesday. As good samaritans the boat association of Veraval and GirSomnath Collectorate helped more than 700 fishermen who were stranded in Veraval due to the cyclone.

As a good Gujarati host the Kerala and Tamil Nadu fishermen were welcomed by locals and fishermen in Veraval. They were immediately provided with food, rations, blankets along with other need based things and a shelter to make themselves comfortable.

There were 68 boats from Tamil Nadu with 600 fishermen and two from Kerala with more than 100 people.

The GirSomnath District Administration played a major role in comforting these fishermen by offering them all the facilities. Moreover, the district collectorate is also in the coordination with the CEO of Disaster Management of Kerala as well as Deputy Director of Fishery from Tamil Nadu.

As the latest information, CEO of Costal Area Development Authority from Kerala will be visiting Veraval to ascertain details on the situation.

When contacted the District Collector of GirSomnath, Ajay Prakash told Meranews, “Though the situation is under control now, we have asked the fishermen to stay back for a couple of days more here. This is to ascertain their safety.”

Prakash further added, “we learnt that around 700 fishermen from Kerala and TN, who are sailing towards Southern Gujarat, are stuck and near the Veraval coast we asked the administration to offer them all the facilities. A deputy collector rank officer has been appointed to look in the matter.”

In order to overcome the language bearer the collector took called two people from the fishermen commentiy who can speak their language. “We did so in order to understand their issues and better coordination as they could speak no other language but their mother tongue,” said Prakash.

Meanwhile, the Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday assured that the rescue operations in the aftermath of cyclone Ockhi are making every attempt to bring back stranded fishermen in the sea.

Sitharaman's statement comes after she recently visited Kerala and Tamil Nadu where she held talks with the chief ministers of both the states, and also held meetings with police personnel and Indian Navy officials to discuss the rescue operations.

While speaking to media here, Defence Minister said "The Indian Navy officials and coastguard are making every attempt to bring back the fishermen. Rescue is our first priority. We are working as a team and hope to bring back many".

"The rescue operations will continue till the last fisherman stranded in the deep seas, is rescued and brought ashore," she said.

According to the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), about 240 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, 250 from Kerala and 1,047 people in Lakshadweep have been rescued till now from the seas.

The NCMC, which is headed by cabinet secretary P K Sinha, also took stock of the preparedness in Maharashtra and Gujarat which are likely to be impacted by the cyclone. (ANI)

The Ockhi Cyclone had weakened yesterday and gradually turned into a ‘depression’.

However, the state is on alert with rescue teams have been stationed at the sea coasts as precautionary measure.

(with inputs from ANI)

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Kuldeep Tiwari tweets at @kuldeep_2105.