'Missing' woman found to have eloped, Coast Guard demands action for waste of resources

A 21-year-old woman and her husband had visited RK beach in Visakhapatnam when she went missing, following which the Coast Guard conducted a two-day search for her.
Representative image of a woman's silhouette against the sunset
Representative image of a woman's silhouette against the sunset
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A dramatic series of events unfolded in Andhra’s Visakhapatnam, after a woman who was believed to have drowned in the sea on Monday, July 25, was later found to have run away to Bengaluru. The 21-year-old woman had visited RK beach along with her husband on Monday. However, the woman went missing and, fearing that she had drowned, the Indian Navy deployed a ship and helicopter to search the sea for two days, but without results.

A few days later, the Andhra Pradesh police found the woman in Nellore along with a man with whom she was reportedly in a relationship. According to reports, the woman and her husband had gone to RK beach to celebrate their second wedding anniversary. The two got separated when she moved away to take pictures, but moments later she could not be found, following which a massive search was launched on July 26. The city’s Mayor and Deputy Mayor were also involved, and the operation, led by the Indian Navy following the state police’s request, went on till July 27.

In a memorandum dated Friday, July 29, the Navy condemned using military resources for non-life-threatening situations. The document stated, “It is intimated that deployment of ICG assets i.e. ships and aircraft encompass huge financial implications and wastage of pernicious man hours. The ICG undertakes search and rescue operations as and when requested by state administration/local police without confirming the positive authentication. However, the information received in the instant case was false and later the missing lady was found alive at Nellore.” The Navy also called for strict action against those involved in the incident, and urged the police to confirm the situation before involving the military.

The Times of India reported that the two-day search operation cost the exchequer about Rs 1 crore. The report also states that the woman was traced to Nellore based on data from her phone, and a day later, she was found to be in Bengaluru. 

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