KOLKATA: A total of 516 Indian fishermen, who had been stranded in Bangladesh following inclement weather, Wednesday reached Kakdwip harbour in South 24 Parganas district from where they had sailed 10 days ago, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) said here.
The fishermen on board 32 boats were handed over to the ICG by the Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG) on Tuesday.
"The Indian Coast Guard successfully handed over 516 fishermen along with 32 Indian fishing boats to the West Bengal State Fisheries authorities at Kakdwip fishing harbour post repatriation from Bangladesh" on Wednesday, the ICG said in a statement.
They had strayed into Bangladesh waters due to rough seas and strong currents on July 6 and 7.
"They had been provided with shelter at Payra Port by the Bangladesh Coast Guard. They were also provided food, fresh water and fuel to reach back to India," the ICG said.
Under escort of the BCG, the boats reached from Payra Port of Bangladesh to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) for repatriation, where they were taken over by ICG ships Vijaya and Anmol.
The fishermen arrived home safely and united with their families, the ICG statement said.
Meanwhile, the search for the remaining 24 missing fishermen is on by the BCG in Bangladesh Waters and the ICG along the IMBL and off West Bengal coast, the statement said.
Twenty-five fishermen had gone missing after two fishing boats allegedly sank at the confluence of the Haribhanga river and the Bay of Bengal on July 7, amid heavy rain and rough seas.
One of them, Rabindranath Das, managed to remain afloat for four days, holding onto a piece of bamboo, before being rescued by a Bangladesh-flagged cargo ship near the Chittagong port on July 11.
He reached Kolkata two days later.