THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Micheal and Antony from Vizhinjam put their lives at stake when they ventured into the angry sea on Sunday, to search for the missing men. They were part of the 50-odd fishermen who had gone to the sea in 15 boats. According to them, 34 people who went fishing from Vizhinjam are yet to come back.
The duo told Express that it wasn’t easy even then, as the ocean current was high and the wind was blowing heavy. ‘’We went 50 miles into the sea towards North as the current was in that direction. On the way, we met other boats from Kollam and Poonthura. We communicated using wireless sets,’’ they said. They added: “All boats from Vizhinjam had gone in different directions towards the North. We came across 10 boats fitted with outboard engines and one inboard engine boat. All the outboard engine boats capsized and nets and other things were scattered around. But, we never saw anyone.”
Despite the odds, they are ready for another search operation. ‘’We want our brothers and uncles back here,’’ they said.But, they minced no words, criticising the government and the Coast Guard.
“The Coast Guard was of no help. They never ventured deep as we did. Despite having good boats, they are scared to undertake the search operation,’’ they said.
They said all expense, including for diesel, food and kerosene, was met by the fishermen and the government was yet to provide any assistance. Meanwhile, Parish Council secretary Johny said the fishermen had to venture into the sea as the authorities failed to trace the missing men. “The ministers and other officials have promised to intensify search operations. But, we would continue with our search,’’ he said.