Port Blair, December 17: Receiving high alerts on low depression over the south of Bay of Bengal, the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) in the past two days, have evacuated more than 950 tourists and islanders stranded at the Havelock and Neil Islands. The ANC took help of Indian Navy to accomplish the mission.
To evacuate the stranded tourists and islanders, two Indian Naval Ships (IN) and two Indian Coast Guards (ICG) ships sailed out on 15th of December to Havelock. Two smaller ships of Coast Guard were also used to ferry the stranded tourists from Neil Island to Havelock, from where they were brought by these bigger INS and Coast Guard ships. About 740 civilians were also successfully ferried to Port Blair.
Continuing the operations during the night, two Ships INS Batti Malv and INS Bitra carried 215 more stranded tourists and islanders and reached Port Blair on 16th December early morning prior to the resuming of normal ferry services.
The evacuation will continue despite adverse weather to bring back the tourists to Port Blair. The heavy weather caused by cyclone Phethai caused disruption of regular ferry services to and from Port Blair.
The normal services of Directorate of Shipping Services (DSS) ships and private ferries plying between the islands had been cancelled for the past two days due to inclement weather and a number of tourists were stranded at Havelock and Neil islands. They were eager to get back to Port Blair as many of them had return flights to catch. The Andaman and Nicobar Command deployed it’s assets to assist the administration in the rescue effort.