Thiruvalla: It was a fluvial tour and a lucky one for Omana, 68, of Manimala Thottiyil House on the morning of Wednesday, July 29.
The previous night, Omana and her son Rajesh had retired to their rooms after supper. Rajesh, the next morning, could not find his mother anywhere. He wasted no time to reach out to the Manimala police. The police reached home and conducted a preliminary investigation. In one hour, Rajesh got a phone from the Taluk Hospital, Thiruvalla that Oman was there.
Omana had gone, as she does every day, to the nearby Manimala river to take bath. Rajesh said his mother knew swimming well. Rajesh said his mother told him that she had slipped and fell in the water. The water level, which rose in the previous day’s rain, had subsided by then. Omana reportedly told Rajesh that she was washing clothes when she fell in. Her head hit a bamboo staff in the water, Rajesh quoted her as saying. But she somehow managed to hold on to the bamboo log as currents carried her away. She could not remember how long or far it had taken her.
Some people spotted her from the Kuttoor railway bridge. They said there was a lot of things floating around in the murky water but they could distinctly see a woman.
They alerted the Fire and Rescue Services and boatmen in the vicinity. Boatmen Varghese Mathai, alias Joy, and his father’s brother Joy launched themselves in a boat for a search. They paddled over 100 metres to reach Omana who had by then reached near the bridge at Thondarakadavu.
They quickly pulled her in and took her to the hospital in an autorickshaw. She regained complete consciousness in 30 minutes and managed to give her son’s phone number to the doctor there.
Omana was also taken to the neurology wing of the Kottayam Medical College for an examination. Dr. Balakrishnan, who saw Omana, said she had an injury on the head and was unwell after several hours in water.
Sources said Omana had traversed some 50 km holding on to the bamboo log.