Submerged tourist boat traced at last

The private tourist boat, which capsized in the River Godavari on September 15 near Kachuluru, was traced near the village on Thursday.

Royal Vasista boat was operated to Papikondalu despite the flood in the river with 77 persons, including eight crew, on board.

More than 50 persons died when the boat was caught in a whirlpool and capsized. A 25-member team, led by Dharmadi Satyam of Kakinada, was entrusted the task of retrieving the boat. The team, which has been on the job for the last 10 days, traced the vessel. On Wednesday, it achieved a breakthrough of sorts by retrieving the iron railing of the boat.

Bodies trapped?

Port official Adinarayana, police, revenue and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) officials monitored the operation today.

“The iron hook dropped into the river caught the railing of the submerged boat. But due to heavy weight, the railing broke and came up. The boat was at a depth of 50 feet. We will retrieve it in a couple of days” Mr. Satyam said, adding the operation would resume on Friday morning. Family members of the 13 missing persons fear that the bodies could be trapped in the submerged boat. The victims’ families, which mounted an anxious vigil at Rajamahendravaram, Rampachodavaram and Devipatnam for 15 days, finally returned to their respective places. Tourists from Hyderabad, Warangal and other districts in Telangana, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari, Guntur and other places in AP boarded the boat to visit Papikondalu.

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