Dubai: Not all superheroes wear capes. Kerala’s fishermen are being hailed as the “unsung heroes” by many on social media. They came to the rescue, in their fishing boats, and saved thousands of people stranded in different parts of the flood-stricken Indian state.

India’s southern most state is witnessing the worst flooding in a century. Rescue missions are underway. Many have said that while navy personnel, civil defence and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are doing a great job in trying to help those in the flood affected areas, they have also praised the tireless efforts of the fishermen.

Twitter user @PishuMon posted: “#KeralaFloods rescue operations is unparalleled. The perfect sync of state and defence force along with district and Panchayat ruling bodies was simply brilliant. This rescue operation has been using local resources like fishermen and fishing boats extensively.”

Tweep @Sujesh_Knr addedd: “Kerala’s fishermen playing splendid role in helping affected people even by risking their own lives. Salute those unsung heroes. #KeralaFloods

And, @hisamuddink51 tweeted: “The unsung heroes... There are many such heroes. They are boat-men and fishermen who don’t ask for anything in return for their services. They deserve our salute. This is real humanitarian service.”

Twitter user, @Forumkeralam1 who was rescued by fishermen, posted a message of gratitude. The tweep wrote: “Just got an update that friends and family who were stranded for three days were rescued from #Chengannur by a group of fisherman who came all the way from #Kollam. They were offered some money and they simply refused that money and moved on. Thanks won’t be enough we know. #KeralaFloods”

Tweep @rameesrammu6 added: “Yesterday [Saturday] was a massive day of rescue. Over 2 lakh were rescued. Much more needs to be done, but Kerala is thankful for all the support. Especially from the fishermen. Reports indicate that they alone rescued around 100,000 people!”

According to the Indian newspaper, Hindustan Times, the state fisheries minister J Mercikutty Amma was quoted as saying: “The sons of the sea are turning into role models of the people. They saved many of those marooned in the floods, and when things turned chaotic, they rushed out to save lives on their own.”

According to experts, the design of the wood and fibre twin-engine country boat is adept at navigating strong undercurrents and withstanding damage by underwater objects.

Particularly heartwarming is the fact that instead of waiting for government aid to come along, the fishermen pooled money from their own pockets to hire trucks that would transport their boats to flood-hit areas.

@mallucomrade: “These fishermen are the unsung heroes of #KeralaFloodRelief. They’ve come from different parts of Kerala with their boats to aid in the rescue operations since navy boats were running short. Even NDRF is using their boats now because they are easier to navigate in the flooded areas.”

Tweep @pravi9496 felt this could be a lesson in disaster management textboooks. He posted: “The flood in Kerala saw a unique rescue operation, which is going to be an important case study worldwide for people in the disaster management. The fishermen from coastal villages volunteered.”

Like many others @RepJayapal tweeted support for the victims of the flood. He posted: “My heart goes out to those in Kerala who are weathering the worst floods in centuries: hundreds of thousands of homeless and hundreds dead. Deepest gratitude to the military as well as to the fishermen who are using their own boats for courageous rescues.”