Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Wednesday, Dec 29, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Andhra Pradesh
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment |

Andhra Pradesh Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

12-year-old overcomes killer wave

By Shakeel M. Rasheed



LITTLE HERO: Sangadi Gangadri who had a close encounter with tsunami looks unperturbed.

BHAIRAVAPALEM (EAST GODAVARI DT.), DEC. 28. With school vacation on and like all others of his age, Sangadi Gangadri should have stayed at home for playing with friends.

Instead he chose to take a joyride on his father's fishing boat — and that was it! He was given up for dead and may nearly have had his obsequies performed.

When one adult member of the crew that sailed with him was drowned and the other grown-ups barely managed to survive the tidal saves that slammed the East Godavari coast, what was an unfortunate 12-year-old?

In the limelight

The sympathy that Gangadri had garnered for himself in his native Bhairavapalem village near Yanam during that 24 hours that he was taken for as having met with a watery grave, turned into instant `stardom' when he returned home.

Gangadri's intrepidity in not only facing up to the nslaught of the tsunami but the sheer fortitude that he exhibited in overcoming the ordeal on him far belies his age. A fourth standard pupil, he wanted to take a day off his Christmas vacation on Sunday to see how nets are cast and fish caught.

He hopped into his father's boat along with a seven-member crew for what was to be his first experience at sea. They set off at around 3 a.m. and had sailed quite a distance by 9 a.m. when they sighted a huge wave build up "not far from where we were." The wave swelled, turned monstrous in size and began heading for them. They jumped off the boat, hoping to reach a sandy formation nearby. The tidal wave slammed their boat and swept them all back into the sea.

Recounting how he lived to tell a tale, Gangadri said, "My father reached out for me in the churning waters, but his hand slipped through my fingers." He was on his own after that, and fighting a sea "that was out to suck me into it."

Thanks God

Drawing upon his nascent swimming skills, Gangadri struggled out of the whirlpool. "It was God who pulled me out of that. I must have swam for three hours aimlessly before a wave tossed me onto an island," Gangadri said.

Driven to despair, he clambered up a tree and spent the night on it. "I saw two men in the morning and dashed to them for help." He was delivered home on a few hours later to the joy of his parents. Asked when he would muster courage to join his father on a fishing voyage, he said without further ado, "Never again."

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Andhra Pradesh

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Updates: Breaking News |

Sivananda Ashram


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu