Udupi, Nov 25, 2019: Four tourists including a woman from Kerala were forced to spend an entire night on the uninhabited St Mary’s Island after missing the boat ferrying passengers from St Mary’s Island to Malpe beach near Udupi.
Jastin (34), Sheeja (33), Josh (28) and Harish (17), all hailing from Kochi in Kerala, who had visited St Mary’s Island on Saturday were forced to spend the entire night on the island. Their ordeal ended the following morning and they were escorted safely to Malpe beach.
According to police, Justine, and Sheeja were running a homestay in Kerala while Josh was working with them. Harish was a goalkeeper in a football academy. All the four had left from Kerala via train on November 21 and had arrived at Udupi.
After visiting tourist places in Udupi, they had travelled to Goa on November 22 and had returned to Udupi on November 23. The group decided to visit St Mary’s Island and reached the island at 12.30 pm. After reaching the island, the four tourists visited another small island in the vicinity.
By evening, due to tides the water-level in the other island had increased making it difficult for them to return to the boats waiting to ferry them back to Malpe beach. The last boat to leave the island at 6.45 pm was unaware about the missing tourists, the Malpe police said.
The tourists, without food, spent an entire night clicking photographs. When the first boat reached St Mary’s island at 7.30 am the next day, they noticed the group and informed the Malpe police. The police verified their identity cards, the tickets purchased to visit St Mary’s Island, the railway tickets, among others.
The Malpe police also contacted the Kerala police to verify the information collected from the tourists. Udupi Superintendent of Police Nisha James said; “The incident of tourists missing the boat and spending an entire night on St Mary’s island exposes the negligence of the contractors who had bagged the boat services to St Mary’s Island. We will seek an explanation from the Malpe Beach Development Committee. We will direct the authorities to post additional security personnel on the island, keeping the interest of tourists’ safety.
Courtesy: Deccan Herald