The toll in the incident of boat capsize near Karwar in Karnataka rose to 14, after six more bodies were recovered on Tuesday, The News Minute reported. The ferry boat, carrying 33 passengers, had capsized in the Kali river on Monday.
Divers, three boats of the Indian Coast Guard, two helicopters and an aircraft belonging to the Navy took part in the search and rescue operations that continued on Tuesday. Uttara Kannada District Superintendent of Police Vinayak Patil said two bodies are yet to be traced, the Bangalore Mirror reported.
The people on the capsized boat had visited a temple located at a remote island in Karwar district. The vessel went under on its return journey after the driver lost control and high tide rocked the boat.
The Coast Guard as well as fishermen and other vessels in the area had managed to rescue 18 persons immediately after the mishap.
A survivor recounted that at least five to six other boats carrying devotees tried to save those on the capsizing boat, The Times Of India reported. “But the people in those boats were so panicky that the drivers of the boats dared not come near us,” said Darshan Shirodkar, who knew how to swim and managed to save himself by clinging on to the tip of the boat. “The fishermen in the vicinity rushed to us and saved us.”
A video showed three to four boats circling the capsized vessel as survivors sat on top of the overturned boat.
Rupali Nayak, the legislator from the district, was on another boat and managed to save six passengers.
The Chittakula Police have booked boat owner Dayanand Ram Jadhav, Gokuldas Ram Jadhav, Mahendra Jagadeesh Jadhav and Yeshwanth Chopdeka. Patil said there were 28 lifejackets on board but they were kept in a sealed box and the driver had allegedly refused to give them out even after a passenger had asked for one.
“The owner and his assistant who was in the boat had been rescued and arrested,” said Patil. “A case has been booked under Section 304 [culpable homicide not amounting to murder] of the Indian Penal Code.”