According to a December 6 report in the Deccan Chronicle newspaper in India, members of the Ham Radio and Emergency Communication Society in Idukki assisted in the rescue of two fishermen, identified only as Maniyan and Anil from Veli. They had been stranded in the Indian Ocean for 2 days as a result of Cyclone Ockhi, when a small boat with a VHF radio, in touch with the group’s wide-range Calvary Mount repeater (VU2HEN), sailed into the area.
“We relayed the latitude and longitude to rescue vessels, which reached out to the duo,” said T. R. Manoj, VU2DTH, the Society’s secretary. The Quilon Amateur Radio League (VU2QAR) was said to already be active in helping in communication. Manoj said the hams also were able to communicate with a few lost boats that had managed to find safe harbor during the high seas generated by the cyclone.
Cyclone Ockhi, which struck in early December, was reported to have been the strongest storm of the 2017 North Indian Ocean cyclone season.