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Featured Image: Stranded tourists being rescued by an Air Force Mi-17 V5 helicopter from Havelock island in Andaman on Friday. Photo: MoD

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 09 December: DEFENCE forces and civil administration have rescued 1,903 tourists to Port Blair from Havelock and Neil islands in Andaman and Nicobar where they had got stranded for the past three days due to inclement weather and rough sea condition.

The rescued tourists include 12 foreigners ~ Germany 02, Spain 04, Italy 02, Latvia 02, Israel and Ireland 01 each. Majority of the rescued tourists are from West Bengal.

Defence ministry chief spokesperson in Kolkata Wing Commander SS Birdi informed tonight that 295 tourists had been airlifted to Port Blair and the rest were brought back by a fleet of ships including some private ones.

Defence forces have now called off the rescue operation after the Andaman and Nicobar administration said that almost all stranded had been brought back to Port Blair.

The joint rescue operation by Defence forces and the civil administration was launched around 09.30 am today involving Indian Air Force’s Mi-17 V-5 helicopters and ships belonging to the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. A few private ships also had joined in.

Of the 1,903 tourists, the Defence forces rescued 938 and the remaining 965 were rescued by private ships under the guidance of Defence personnel. While 1,614 tourists had got stranded at Havelock Island; 289 were stranded at Neil Island.