East Godavari:After a brief gap, operations to retrieve the ill-fated boat, ‘Royal Vasishta’ from the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh resumed on Wednesday afternoon. The operation has been named Operation Royal Vasishta-II.
Dharmadi Satyam, whose Kakinada-based Balaji Marines firm has been allotted Rs 22.7 lakhs to retrieve the sunk boat reached the spot on Wednesday along with his crew of 25. They are using traditional equipment (iron ropes, strong anchors and hooks) to retrieve the boat. Since they failed in the first attempt, this time they will use two strong anchors to hook the boat. If the hook clips any object, they will pull it out of the water using cables connected to pulleys attached to an excavator.
Experts have expressed doubts over the way the operations are being done. They say that it is difficult to retrieve the boat using traditional equipment.
There are different figures being shared about the depth the sunk boat might be. Dharmadi Satyam says that the boat is trapped at a depth of 180 feet, while district collector D. Muralidhar Reddy had said that the boat is trapped at a depth of around 300 feet.
It was on September 15 that the private tourist boat ‘Royal Vasishta’ capsized in the Godavari River near Kacchuluru under Devipatnam mandal in East Godavari district.
Of the 77 people including tourists and crew members, 26 survived the mishap, 40 bodies were recovered and 11 bodies are yet to be traced.
The Indian Navy and experts from Uttarakhand were called in to retrieve the sunken boat, but they failed.
Meanwhile, the families of the 11 missing persons have lost hope of their bodies being recovered. Sources said that though ‘Operation Royal Vasishta-II’ commenced none of the relatives of the missing persons came.