Lucky escape for Goa mayor, six others as boat capsizes

Panaji: Panaji Mayor Surendra Furtado, two journalists, and four others had a lucky escape when the weed-removal mechanism outfitted boat they were in capsized in a creek here. The mayor had to be dragged from under the boat, even as all others onboard escaped unhurt but ended up drenched in the sewage-lined water of the creek, swollen by the monsoon torrents. The media had been invited to cover the de-weeding process of the Campal creek by the mayor himself on Sunday morning. "I am lucky to survive. It is God's grace," Furtado said after he was pulled ashore by onlookers. "The boat's machinery had just the started de-weeding process when it tilted and all seven of us, including the boat operator, fell into the water. The mayor had to be dragged from under the boat which turned turtle," said Anil Lad of local cable TV news channel In-Goa who was also present on the boat. Lad said that apart from his camera, mobile phones of those on the boat, including the mayor, were damaged.