Six firemen marooned during rescue operation saved
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Six firemen marooned during rescue operation saved

Mysuru:  A group of fire service personnel had a narrow escape as their boat turned turtle after hitting a rock in a rescue operation of a woman who jumped into the water that was being released from Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam. The boat toppled and the rescue personnel landed in strong water currents. All of them, were, however, rescued by the Police and their colleagues from Fire Department in Mandya and Mysuru while a search is on for the woman.

The incident that occurred on July 26 at Balamuri has come to light now. According to fire service personnel, the woman jumped into the water that was being released from the KRS. As the Dam is full to the brim and due to the regular high inflow, the authorities from Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL) have been releasing more than 40,000 cusecs of water every day.

On July 26, 35-year-old Shashikala, a resident of Yelwal hobli, jumped into the water from the main KRS Bridge at 2.30 pm as water was being released through the crest gates.

Police said that Shashikala had some domestic issues with her husband and took the extreme step. The incident occurred in front of many tourists who had come to the KRS to see the water release.

Shashikala plunged into the water that was flowing in a great force and the incident shocked the tourists. They immediately informed the CNNL authorities, who in-turn, intimated the Mandya Police and the Fire Service Department.

As the water was turbulent, the rescuers decided to wait at Balamuri downstream to rescue Shashikala. A team of expert divers stood waiting near Balamuri and one more team set off in a boat to the middle of the Balamuri waterfall.  The boat was taken from Saraswathipuram Fire Service Station and around six members — Nanjundaswamy, Prabhakar, Darshan, Ravi, Kumaraswamy and Lingannaswamy — set out on the boat to search for the missing woman.

However, the turbulent water currents pushed the boat to a side and it hit a rock. As the water was gushing out, the rescuers did not see the rock. Due to the impact, the boat turned turtle and all the six divers were marooned. Fortunately, they were wearing lifejackets and some of them managed to climb on the boulders to escape from being washed away.

Seeing the marooned rescue personnel, the other team members, who were on the river bank threw life bags using ropes, and pulled them to safety. Mandya District Fire Officer Ravikumar, PSI Byatarayagowda attached to KRS Police Station and swimmer Prashanth led the rescue operation.

The rescue team, however, could not find Shashikala. Turbulent water currents forced the rescuers to abandon the rescue operation on that day. Shashikala was not traced yesterday too. She is feared to have drowned.

July 28, 2018

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