KOCHI: In two separate incidents, a group of fishermen had a narrow escape after their fishing boats capsized off the Puthuvype coast. Both boats, having ventured into the sea from the Kalamukku Fishing Harbour in Vypeen, collided with the debris of a boat that had sunk in the waters three months ago and capsized at the same location in the space of a few hours.
According to officers with the Fort Kochi Coastal Police, the first incident took place around 9pm on Tuesday when the fishing boat ‘Ashique Mon’ capsized around three nautical miles off the coast. All nine fishermen on board the vessel were rescued, averting a tragedy.
However, a few hours later, another fishing vessel, ‘St. Antonies’, carrying 48 fishermen capsized at the same location around 4am on Wednesday. Another vessel in the vicinity rushed to the boat and rescued the fishermen, who were on the verge of drowning. Later, responding to an alert, Coastal Police officials reached the spot and brought the fishermen ashore.
They were released after first aid was administered at the Ernakulam General Hospital. “A preliminary investigation revealed that the vessel capsized after it collided with the debris of another boat which sank in the sea three months ago,” said an officer. The boats of the port department were also pressed into the rescue mission following a request from the Coastal Police. The boat ‘St. Antonies’ was brought near the LNG Terminal in Puthuvype and anchored there while ‘Ashique Mon’ was brought ashore after hours of effort by police officials and others.
“It is the responsibility of the boat owners to shift the debris of a boat after a mishap,” said Sunu Kumar, CI, Fort Kochi Coastal Police. Meanwhile, Vypeen MLA K N Unnikrishnan urged Fisheries Minister Saji Cherian to set up floating buoys at the spots where boat debris have settled to warn fishermen.