A trip to native place turns tragic at Manappad for the victims.
A boat ride ended in a tragedy on Sunday evening for nine tourists, including five women and three children, who drowned in the sea at Manappad, about 50 km from Thoothukkudi.
The deceased are yet to be identified.
According to locals, a group from Tiruchi, who had come to their native place of Azhagammanpuram for a temple festival, visited the coastal village on Sunday evening and hired a fibreglass boat around 6 p.m.
The boat had sailed just 25 metres from the shore when it overturned.
“Since the sea was rough on Sunday, heavy tides might have lashed the boat violently.
“The occupants would have panicked and started moving in the 32-foot-long and 5-foot-wide boat, leading to the boat capsizing,” said W. Pradeepan, former panchayat union councillor from Manappad.
Fishermen on the shore reached the spot to rescue them, but nine of them drowned.
As all the victims were unconscious, most of them were rushed to the Tiruchendur Government Hospital and a few to nearby private hospitals, where the doctors declared them ‘brought dead’.
Police and Fire and Rescue Services personnel from Tiruchendur who came to the Manappad beach after the mishap, confirmed the view of the villagers.
Collector M. Ravikumar, who rushed to Tiruchendur along with Superintendent of Police Ashwin M. Kotnis, monitored the medical assistance extended to the victims.