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Three dead, nine missing as ship rams fishing boat off Kochi

The incident occurred at around 3. 30 AM while the boat carrying around 15 fishermen from Munambam area of Ernakulam district was engaged in fishing off Chettuva coast.

Published: 07th August 2018 11:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2018 05:54 AM   |  A+A-

File image of a boat used for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

KOCHI: At least three fishermen were killed and nine persons went missing as an unknown vessel rammed a fishing boat off Kochi coast around 3.30 am on Tuesday. According to Fisheries Deputy Director S Mahesh, there were 14 workers on board Oceanic, a fishing boat which was completely damaged in the midsea collision. Among the workers 11 people were natives of Tamil Nadu, two were from West Bengal and one from Kerala.

The dead persons have been identified as Yuvanathan (45), Manakkudy (50) and Yacob (57) -- all natives of Ramanthurai, Tamil Nadu. The bodies of the three people were brought to Munambam Harbour.

Two grievously injured persons -- Naren Sarkar (20) a native of Bengal and Edwin (29), a native of Colachel, Tamil Nadu -- were brought to shore in a rescue boat and they are now under treatment at the General Hospital, Ernakulam.

The incident occurred around 23 nautical miles off Nattika coast. The boat had ventured into the sea from Munambam fishing harbour on Monday. According to sources the workers were resting in the boat after fishing when the ship rammed the boat.


Injured fishermen admitted in North Paravur taluk hospital for treatment. ( Photo | A Sanesh / EPS)

Sivan, the owner of the fishing boat and a native of Munambam, told 'Express' that there were a total of 14 workers on the boat. He said the fishing boat overturned in the mishap and the workers may have got trapped under the boat, leading to the death of three fishermen.

SHIP IDENTIFIED

The Coast Guard has launched a search for the vessel. From the available inputs, the merchant vessel involved in the collision appears to be MD Desh Shakti, an Indian registration vessel, officers said. "However, the matter would have to be confirmed for which interrogation will be carried out by the Dornier aircraft on radio network and information passed to DG Shipping," one officer said.

NAVY IN ACTION

Meanwhile, the Indian Navy has diverted a Sea King helicopter, which was already in air, to proceed to the area for search and rescue of survivors. One Dornier aircraft has also been launched for the searching the entire area. In addition another Dornier aircraft is getting airborne to investigate the merchant ships which were in the area at the time of the collision. INS January is also proceeding to the area for search and rescue of the missing personnel, a Navy spokesman said.

One ALH helicopter is standing by to be launched later as the situation develops.

RISE IN MIDSEA COLLISIONS

There has been a spurt in midsea collisions off Kochi coast recently which has panicked the coastal populace. Though the fishermen have urged the government to ensure their safety at sea, there have been no steps in this regard.

Two fishermen had suffered injuries after a cargo ship rammed a fishing boat 47 km off Kochi coast around 4.20 am on June 7. The ship sped away without caring for the fishermen in the boat which was partially damaged in the collision. The Mercantile Marine Department identified the ship as a Palau-flagged vessel, which was on its way to Alang in Gujarat for scrapping.

A Thailand registered merchant vessel Mayuree Naree hit a fishing boat off Kochi coast early on July 8 and sailed away, in yet another mid-sea hit and run case.

A Panama registered bulk carrier MV Amber L collided with a fishing boat off Kochi coast claiming the lives of three fishermen off Kochi coast in June 2017.

On February 15, 2012, two fishermen were shot dead by Italian Maries on board Italian vessel Enrica Lexie. M V Prabhu Daya, a cargo ship carrying iron ore from Goa to aChinese port rammed a fishing boat off Alappuzha coast killing five fishermen in 2012. Two persons were injured in the incident.

Here are the accidents in mid-sea in last two years:

2017 January: Seven injured after a ship collided with a fishing boat 65 nm off Kochi

2017 June: Three dead, 11 injured when Panama-flagged merchant vessel Amber L hit a fishing boat Carmel Matha 14 nautical miles off Kochi coast

2017 August: A Hong Kong-flagged ship collided with a fishing boat Arockia Annai, 39 nm off Kollam coast

2017 October: Unidentified ship rammed a fishing vessel, 19 nm off Colachel

2017 October: Unidentified merchant ship rammed fishing boat Immanuel, 50 nm off Beypore

2018 January: Unidentified ship hit fishing vessel Nelson off Kanyakumari coast

2018 June: Two injured as a Palau-flagged cargo ships rams into a fishing boat 47 km off Kochi

2018 August: Three dead and 11 missing as an unknown vessel hits a fishing boat 23 nautical miles off Natika coast near Kochi

 



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