The Times of India dated June 30 reports that a police boat carrying 64 security personnel was sunk in a river on June 29 in Malkangiri district of Orissa.
The disturbing features are:
- the police motor boat was carrying Andhra Pradesh’s special operations group (SOG) engaged to combat Maoist guerrillas
- the boat was attacked by rebels by gunfire from a nearby hilltop while the police boat was sailing to Chitrakonda across Balimela reservoir for a joint operation against the Maoists
- the boat capsized, 29 have managed to save their lives, remaining 35 are missing and are feared dead by drowning
- intensive search and rescue operations are going on with Naval divers and rescue vessels to locate the missing men
It is sad to know that 35 elite SOG men are feared dead due to drowning.
Death by drowning can be avoided
- by wearing Personal Flotation Device (PFD) like life jackets
- by knowing swimming
To avoid death by drowning in future,the government must ensure that security personnel learn swimming during their initial training. Also personnel traveling in water transports must wear PFDs.
Read more from The Times of India.
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Update: July 01
Two dead bodies of elite security men were recovered and search for the remaining is still going on. Only those securitymen who swam in the reverse direction managed to survive. Read more from IBN Live and The Hindu.
Update: July 02
Update: July 09
Three balloons, each with a capacity to lift 10 tonnes of weight were used to haul the sunken boat from water. Read more from Thaindian News.
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