They were were holed up on a tiny island in the swollen Bhavani river, near Attapadi. Due to heavy rains in the area for the past three days, the river was in spate. The authorities had tried since Friday to convince them to shift to a safer place, but they refused.
"We urged them to move to safer place. But Lavanya, the pregnant woman, was not sure about effect of the safety harness belt on the baby," said the Fire Force official who coordinated the rescue.
"Today the river was in spate and the district collector and police authorities gave us the permission to forcefully rescue them. We had to speak to them for two hours before they agreed. One by one, we took them over the swelled river, without any issues," said the officer.
They had made elaborate arrangements and had kept an ambulance and a gynaecologist ready. The moment Lavanya reached the other side crossing the 25-metre wide river, she was taken to the nearest hospital. "She is doing fine," said the officer.
On the other side of the river there were a huge crowd, including half a dozen good local swimmers who knew the river well. They were ready for any emergency. But it was a perfect rescue act, to great relief of rescue team, the waiting crowd and those rescued.
( With inputs from IANS )