Two engineers from Kerala among P305 victims; one was to look for a bride, other to rejoin kids

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Kollam/Wayanad, May 21 (PTI) Two young engineers hailing from coastal Kerala perished in the ‘P305’ barge sinking tragedy off the Mumbai coast during cyclone Tauktae, leaving their families and friends distraught.

The 27-year-old Antony Edwin, a mechanical engineer working for Afcons Infrastructure, would have been looking for a bride during the summer, while for the 35-year-old Jomish Joseph Punnamthanam, the immediate task on getting ashore was to shift his kids back to his Delhi home, their grieving relatives told PTI.

Antony Edwin’s body was still in the morgue of a state-run hospital in Mumbai before it was taken to his home in the Shakthikulangara village of Kollam for the final journey, his uncle John Edwin, a priest with the Kollan Latin Diocese, said.

Fr Edwin termed his deceased nephew who worked on-board the accommodation barge P305 deployed for the state-run ONGC’s offshore oil wells' maintenance, as an affable boy who always sported a broad smile.

“His patents were seeking a match for him on his return this month end,' Fr Edwin said.

His uncle claimed that Antony's employer has not been very helpful, and the family had to depend on fellow Malayalees settled in Mumbai and local Congress leaders to identify the body and complete the formalities for flying back his mortal remains to Thiruvananthapuram.

Jomish Punnamthanam, an instrumentation engineer originally hailing from the Eachome village near Kalpatta in Wayanad district of Kerala, left behind Joicy, his wife of eight years, six year-old son Joel and daughter Jonah, who will be turning three soon.

His brother-in-law Siju Mathew, who flew to Mumbai from Delhi to identify Jomish's body, said he was eagerly waiting to finish his current stint on the sea.

“He was planning to spend a few days at his native place and take his kids, who have been stuck at his parental home in Wayanad for over eight months due to the lockdown, to Delhi,' Mathew said.

Punnamthanam’s body was among the first to be identified and was taken to Kannur by a flight Friday morning for last rites.

'Strangely, he had called Joicy on Saturday evening, informing that he was heading to the ONGC rigs and will be residing on the P305 barge…may be there was a premonition,” Mathew said.

Of the 261 people on the ill-fated barge P305, 188 have made it alive. The bodies of 60 have been recovered till Friday evening, while 26 are still missing. PTI BEN AA KRK KRK