A Coast Guard helicopter on Saturday rescued nine persons from the flooded Damanganga river in Valsad district as the entire south Gujarat region received torrential rains, officials said.
The rescue attempt follows an alert by the local village panchayat to the district administration that nine persons were marooned on a small patch of land surrounded by the swirling waters of the river.
Official sources said the district administration had first pressed the fire brigade into service but they could not negotiate the flooded river. It then approached the Coast Guard for help.
Bhilad police station inspector MD Patel said: "All the nine people trapped in the river Damanganga were residents of nearby Borikachi village. They had gone for fishing when the water level in the river suddenly started to surge owing to the ongoing rains and release of some water from Madhuban dam in Silvassa."
"We got an SOS around 4pm and passed it on to the district administration. The Coast Guard chopper made four sorties to rescue all the nine people," he said.
Heavy rains in upstream areas of Madhuban dam have flooded river Damanganga, as a result inundating vast tracts of land in Umargam, Vapi and Valsad, official sources said.