Around 3:00 a.m., Milan Tare was on his watch when his wireless was brought alive with the call of “Vachva!” Hearing this sound for “Help” in Marathi, Tare looked around.
Milan Tare, a humble fisherman from Maharashtra, would have never thought that one day, he would end up saving 12 innocent lives. Tare is a father of two girls, and a resident of Satpati, a fishing village in Palghar.
Having finished his education up to Class 12, he worked as a store assistant at a pharmaceutical company for about ten years, and then returned to the village to start fishing on his family boat.
On May 9, the 42-year-old hopped onto his boat along with his crew. There were six more boats apart from his, and the fleet had stepped in the sea after sunset. Fortunately for them, they found a good catch close to the coast. Here, they would set a base for the rest of the night, unless big waves force them to go back to land.
Each boat was about a kilometer away from the other, and the fishermen had an understanding within themselves.
Right after the nets were spread, each one would take a turn to keep watch for big boats or dangerous waves while others took a turn to nap.
Around 3:00 a.m., Tare was on his watch when his wireless was brought alive with the call of “Vachva!” Hearing this sound for “Help” in Marathi, Tare looked around. The boat furthest from the coast did not show the navigation lights that were visible the last time he’d checked. Speaking to The Hindu, he said, “It took me about 20 minutes to find Shivneri, which had capsized. There was no sign of the crew,” says Tare.
Without losing time, Tare started sailing his boat towards “Shivneri”. A release by the Coast Guard said, “Using his good judgment he immediately started taking his boat in that direction. He also alerted the other boats to join the rescue operation.
He saw the crew of the ill-fated boat floating in the vicinity with the help of lifebuoys, thermocol floats, and tyres. He, along with his boat crew, successfully saved the 12-member crew of FB Shivneri.”
The Coast Guard reported the brave act of Tare and recognising his bravery, the National Maritime Search, and Rescue Board is presenting him with a National Award! Tare, who has never been to Delhi will travel to the capital to receive his National Maritime Search and Rescue Award on July 5.
Speaking to The Hindu, the fisherman said, “I have always wanted to be recognised.” And now the national institution will recognize his brave act of saving 12 innocent lives!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)