Kerala family stranded in forest at night while tracing path on Google Maps

Munnar: A Keralite family, which lost its way and got stuck in dense forest through the night after following Google Maps, was finally saved by a team of the Fire & Rescue Services Department after a strenuous rescue operation.

Human rights activist Dr Nawab Wajid, his wife Dr Naima and a relative Shana were stranded in Kuttiyar valley forest which is frequented by elephants, tigers and bisons. They lost the way while returning from Top Station and Vattavada.

The family checked Google Maps to return to the private resort in Devikulam where they were staying. After reaching Ettam Mile in Mattupetty they turned from  Munnar route to Kuttiyar Valley route. Though the family  could have reached Devikulam through this route, in between they lost the way. 

Fire force officials turn saviours 

With no idea about the way, the group drove through tea estates and dense forests for five hours until their vehicle got stuck in slush. From the area which had very weak mobile signal, they sent their location and message to the fire and  rescue unit. 

Even though a nine-member rescue team headed by assistant station officer Shaji Khan conducted a search operation early in the morning, they could not trace the group. Through the location map the officials were finding it difficult to identify the exact spot where the group was stranded. 

The fire force team then went to a place having better mobile signal and tried to establish contact with the group. The fire force team  reached an elevated area in Kuttiyar Valley and switched on the search light. On seeing this the group also switched on the light of their car. Finally, the rescue officials reached them around 4 pm. 

After a one and a half hour strenuous operation the fire officials succeeded in pulling the vehicle out if the slush and bring the group out of the forest. The area has a  sizeable population of elephants. About eight years ago a woman plantation worker was attacked by a tiger. 

The rescue operations were carried out by senior fire officers Thambidurai, V K Jeevankumar, fire officers V T Sandesh, Ajay Chandran, R Rajesh,  A V Anoop, Danny George and K S Kailas.

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