It was carelessness on the part of the fishermen that led to the incidents wherein a fire broke out on fishing boats at Vypeen on consecutive day. Four boats were gutted in two different incidents.
“In the primary investigation, we could not find anything suspicious. The fishermen were careless and that might have caused the accident,” said Njarakkal sub-inspector Shibu.
In the first incident, three boats moored at a private boat repair yard were gutted in the wee hours of Tuesday while another boat was damaged in a fire that broke out the very next day.
“In the first incident, battery short cut is suspected to be the reason and in the second incident, fire spread from candles which the fishermen used for prayer inside the boat,” he said.
“’The fishermen had expressed the doubt that somebody had set the boats ablaze. But as of now, we could not find anything that leads to a conspiracy. However, we are looking into all aspects of the incident,” the police added.
However, fire on boats on consecutive days has created panic among fishermen. Meanwhile some boat owners, who do not want to be named, said that the feud between boat agents (tharakan) could not be ruled out. “It is the agent of a boat who arranges financial support for the boat owner. By doing so, he earns the right to sell the catch taking a commission of seven to ten percent of the cost of the catch. There will more takers for boats with good catch regularly. All the four boats destroyed in fire were bringing good catch. Therefore the possibility of a rivalry between agents could not be ruled out. That aspect should also be looked into,” said the boat owners.