Toppanna had been grazing a herd on an island over a stream of the Krishna River, but the sudden release of water from Narayanpur Dam turned the walkable stream into a roaring body of water.

The rescued shepherd is visibly shaken as he holds his dog The male rescuers who wear highly visible orange clothes around him are joyful as they pose for the camera wearing flower garlands and shawls in appreciation
news Karnataka Floods 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 - 09:31

A 20-year-old man in Karnataka’s Yadgir district was rescued after he was stranded overnight on an island, thanks to the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and swift coordination from district officials. Toppanna, a shepherd, had been grazing a herd on an island over a stream of the Krishna River at Janginagadi, Hunasangi tehsil on Saturday. But the sudden release of water from Narayanpur Dam upstream turned the walkable stream into a roaring body of water, trapping Toppanna in place.

District authorities alerted the Hyderabad Control Room around 2 pm about the incident and they reached the spot at about 11 pm. However, the operation had to be stalled overnight due to unfavorable conditions. The man kept in touch with his friends over the phone, officials said.

Inspector Santosh, NDRF, Hyderabad who led the team of 16 persons, said the relentless water current and the underlying rocks in the river bed made the operation extremely difficult. This meant they had to move with caution and precision.

While six men were in one boat that eventually rescued the stranded man, another four men went on another boat to shadow them as a safety measure.

“We were assured by the tehsildar that the man can stay safe. Considering the overall conditions, we decided to go only in the morning as it would have been much riskier (at night) due to lack of adequate lighting. So we began the operation at 5 am, and requested the dam officials to decrease the outflow. But it was not much use as the inflow was too high. Still, a foot was reduced during the operation after a few gates were closed,” he told TNM.

He explained that even though the island was 150 metres away from the mainland, the current made it very difficult. He said to negotiate the current, they first had to move 200 metres with the flow, and then again 100 metres against the flow.

He continued, “Even when we reached the island, we figured that he was on the other side of a small stream within the island. So one of us had to swim across the river and bring him. After that, we took him on the boat and rescued him safely.”

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.