THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Efforts to move the fishing vessel that ran aground at St Andrew’s Beach in Kadinamkulam, further into sea has been abandoned three days after a team from the Southern Naval Command arrived here for the same. The 11-member team of divers, headed by Lt Commander P K Nehru, had come with the aim of dragging the fishing boat, ‘Aarifamol’, out to deeper waters.
But the rescue efforts were given up after the naval team submitted a report to District Collector Biju Prabhakar saying that since the boat was at a depth of around 30 metres, it would not hinder traditional fishing boats, which had been the main concern of the local fishing community.
Over the past three days, the team of naval divers had removed portions of the vessel that were jutting out of the water. In the report to the Collector, Lt Commander Nehru informed that the 70-tonne steel vessel would sink deeper in the coming days.
‘Aarifamol’, which had run aground over two months ago, had been lying around 125 m off the shore, causing the local fishermen to worry that it would pose a threat while their boats went to and from the sea.
Over the past two months several rescue attempts were made for the vessel, which belongs to Soosanayagam of Thoothoor, Tamil Nadu, and his brother-in-law Sheen.
Earlier, Khalasis from Beypore had also been hired to extricate the 40-foot vessel, but with little success.
When their efforts failed, a tug boat was brought in to extricate the vessel. However, when the tug was towing the vessel, the bottom gave way and the boat sank.
A tense situation then prevailed with the local fishermen preventing the 22 Khalasis from leaving the area saying that the sunken boat should be removed at any cost since it posed a threat to their own fishing activities. It was only after discussions with the district administration, that the Khalasis were released.
So far around Rs 25 lakh have been spent by the district administration on rescue attempts, said a release issued on Friday.