Saturday, November 02, 2019

Diving into a nightmare

A diving holiday turned into a nightmare for a group of 25 diving enthusiasts from Mumbai, who were among 47 people evacuated from Bangaram and Agatti islands in the Lakshadweep in the wake of cyclones Maha and Kyarr hovering in the Arabian Sea simultaneously.
 While 21 of them were flown back by an AllianceAir flight on October 30, four others had to wait for 48 hours to board another flight and return to Cochin. Out of 25, 19 were women and children. Kanika Saxena, who works as vicepresident in a telecom major and is a PADI-certified scuba diver, criticised the lack of contingency planning by Air India in evacuating the stranded tourists from the two islands.
 “Most of us have dived around the world, but this was our first experience in Bangaram. When we landed at Agatti airport on October 25, we were not warned about the cyclones, but were told about the general bad weather with rains and thunderstorms. We had to wait for two days to be ferried to Bangaram, where there was bright sunshine. We had no warning that the weather would turn worse,” said Saxena, who has also worked with a diving club as a trainer.
 02/11/19 Satish Nandagaonkar/Mumbai Mirror
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