KOCHI: A team of officials from various departments today began investigating navigation records and other details of a merchant vessel, which allegedly hit an Indian fishing boat yesterday leaving two fishermen dead.
Officials said 15 personnel from departments including the Directorate General of Shipping, coastal police, immigration, customs and mercantile department boarded the Panama-registered cargo ship 'Amber L' to gather evidence.
They were taken in two boats to the ship currently anchored around 7 nautical miles off Kochi coast, officials said.
Two Indian fishermen were killed and 11 others injured when the Panama-registered cargo ship allegedly hit their fishing boat early yesterday off the Kochi coast.
Out of the 14 crew members on-board, 11 were rescued by fishing boats operating in the vicinity and two bodies were recovered. One fisherman is missing after the collision.
Coastal police authorities said a coordinated search and rescue operation by the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard is on to locate the missing fisherman.
The Navy has launched an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) from the Naval Air Station, INS Garuda, while Coast Guard District Headquarters, Kochi immediately launched a Dornier aircraft.
INS Kalpeni and a Coast Guard ship have also sailed to locate the missing fisherman.
Navy said, the NC3I system at the Joint Operations Centre (Kochi) and Remote Operating Station (ROS) of Coast Guard having AIS and Radar capability were used to try and identify the merchant ship which was responsible for the collision.
Using these systems, the suspect merchant vessel MV Amber L was identified as its position at the time of the incident was close to the reported location.
A Coast Guard Ship with a police team was deployed yesterday for carrying out primary investigation.
The merchant ship has been directed not to leave Kochi till the investigation process is complete and its position is being monitored by Coast Guard Remote Operating Station (ROS).