Speedboat driver’s daredevil saves three fishermen from rough seas – the New Indian Express

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Express news service

KASARAGOD: A boating accident at the mouth of Keezhur harbor would have turned tragic like July 4 without a speedboat driver who daringly saved three fishermen.

Coastal police – crippled by the absence of a lifeboat – could only stand and watch. Babeesh Balakrishnan (26), the driver of the speedboat, swam nearly 3 km in the rough sea to join the three fishermen. He used the fuel jerry cans to make swim buoys for Abdul Rahman (40) and Munamber (42) and put them to safety. He came back again, threw the youngest fisherman, Mohammed Ajmal (20), over his shoulder and swam to safety.

“My son doesn’t swim well. That’s why Babeesh put him on his shoulders,” said Ahmed, Ajmal’s father.

Babeesh Balakrishnan

Bekal Coastal Police Inspector Rakeesh said the sea off Keezhur in the Chemnad panchayat to Thalangara in Kasaragod could be called the most dangerous in Kerala. This is the same place where three fishermen drowned on July 4, he said.

On July 4, a fishing boat capsized as it approached the port of Keezhur. Three fishermen, Karthik (19), Ratheeshan (30) and Sandeep (33) drowned. Four others, Ravi (40), Shibin (30), Manikuttan (35) and Sasi (30) swam to safety. So, too, the coastal police were powerless.

“We urgently need a rescue boat at the Bekal coast station,” the inspector said. The resort has a five-ton speedboat that cannot be pulled out when the sea is rough.

“The speedboat can only carry three people and will be run over by fiery waves,” he said.

Coastal police require a 12-ton boat with a bridge that can carry around 13 people. “Only the big boats will remain stable under these conditions,” he said. The Fisheries Department has such a boat stationed at the Trikaripur Coastal Police Station for the fishermen from Nileshwar to Madakara Port.

Lucky trio

On Friday, Mohammed Ajmal (20), Ashraf Bepul and Munamber took to sea with their small fiber boat. They tried their luck 55 km off the coast but found no fish, said Ahmed, Ajmal’s father.

On Saturday they approached and were fishing 30 km from the coast, he said.

“We don’t know if they caught any fish. On Sunday morning they were going home,” he said.

At 8:30 a.m., when they were about 3 km from the coast, the strong tide knocked over their boat at the mouth of the harbor, which has strong undercurrents, Ahmed said. The fishermen clung to the overturned boat for an hour and a half.

Around 10 a.m., Sidique, a resident of Keezhur, was called Babeesh Balakrishnan from Bekal.

“He called me because I am also a fisherman and know the sea well,” Babeesh said.

Arriving in Keezhur, he saw the police and other fishermen waiting near the shore. The fishermen’s boats were also small. Babeesh didn’t think twice and dove into the sea. It saved the day for the fishermen. The three fishermen were admitted to hospital with minor injuries. After a few hours, the other fishermen and Babeesh towed the capsized boat to shore.


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