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Cyclone Ockhi skirts Maharashtra, Coast Guard rescues 19 more

The Indian Coast Guard on Monday rescued another 19 fishermen from the Arabian Sea, top officials said.

Published: 04th December 2017 07:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2017 07:07 PM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes (A Sanesh | EPS)

By IANS

MUMBAI: As the cyclonic storm "Ockhi" averted the Maharashtra coast and Mumbai, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Monday rescued another 19 fishermen from the Arabian Sea, top officials said here.

Inspector General K.R. Nautiyal, the Commander - ICG West Region, said these fisherfolk were rescued by ICGS Shoor from a remote island and Lakshadweep & Minicoy Isles, off India's southwest coast.

With this, the number of fishermen rescued reached 176 and seven stranded sailors of a vessel since the Ockhi hit on November 29-30 in south India and is now veering towards south-west Gujarat.

"The ICG has deployed 12 ships, three Dornier aircraft and two helicopters for sea-air coordinated search and rescue (SAR) assistance to the fishermen stranded at sea," Nautiyal said.

Besides, five merchant vessels are also helping out in the SAR efforts and helping rescue fishermen mostly off the Kerala coast.

The ICG stations on the west cost are offering all assistance -- from first aid and food to the rescued people, and have advised to remain inside the harbour till the stormy system subsides.

The ICG West Region is disseminating adequate precautionary advisories to the coastal states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Union Territories of Daman & Diu for the likely recurving of Ockhi and making landfall along south Gujarat coast near the Gulf of Khambat.

The oil handling agencies at Bombay High oil fields around 175 km north-west of Mumbai have also been advised to initiate cyclone contingency measures and evacuate personnel from the oil platforms well in time, Nautiyal added.

Meanwhile, more than 1,200 fishermen reached Maharashtra coast over the past weekend, landing at various points in Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.

While 952 fisherfolk in 68 boats reached on Saturday to Sindhudurg, another 321 came in 28 boats in Ratnagiri on Sunday.

"They are safe and being looked after with all arrangements made for them to make them feel at home," Fadnavis said in a tweet.

They include 69 boatloads from Kerala, 25 from Tamil Nadu and two from Karnataka.

Local authorities including the Maharashtra Maritime Board and the distict collectors have been entrusted the responsibility of the welfare of the fisherfolk till weather permits them to return.

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