He will walk again, thanks to Coast Guard

Boat owner bears cost of surgery to sew up the chopped leg of fisherman Ram

Forty-year-old fisherman Ram Gopal, a native of Bihar, has been spared the life of a physically challenged, thanks to the Coast Guard. His left leg was almost completely chopped off by the propeller of the fishing boat he was fishing with in Jakhau waters last month, but he would be able to walk like a normal person soon, after he is discharged from a private hospital in Rajkot this week.

"When we took Ram Gopal from Jakhau to the Bhuj district hospital, doctors said that the leg would require amputation, and that he be rushed to the Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad. Since he is a poor fisherman, with his family dependent on him for livelihood, we didn't want him to become physically handicapped. Also, Ahmedabad was very far. So, we took him to a private hospital in Rajkot where doctors said that the dangling leg would be sewed back. The orthopaedic surgeons did a wonder as they had promised,'' Jamnadas Vandur, the boat owner who bore the cost of the operation, told DNA.

The credit for this miracle goes solely to the Coast Guard. "But for the timely help of the Coast Guard ship and meticulous first aid given by it while in sea, 28 km from Jakhau, Ram Gopal's leg could not have been saved. This was the observation of the surgeons who operated upon him, and now say that there would be no defect of any kind in the leg," the boat owner said. Recalling the incident, Vandur said the four-member crew of the boat was fishing in Jakhau waters on Februry 24. When the crew was heaving the fishing net, Ram Gopal's leg got entangled into the rope attached to the net and he fell in the sea from the rear portion of the boat. When other crew members pulled him up, they found to their horror that his left leg was completely cut off by propeller and was joined with the knee just with skin.

He said when the Coast Guard was contacted on wireless for help, its ship, Meerabai, reached the boat in no time. "Though he was provided with primary treatment, taking him ashore by my boat which had a speed of just 8 nautical miles/hour was risky. The Coast Guard ship, which had a speed of more than 25 nautical miles, brought him up to anchorage point, from where he was shifted into an interceptor boat of the Coast Guard and taken to the Jakhau port.''

DV Maheshwari/ DNA-Daily News & Analysis Source: 3D Syndication