KENDRAPARA/BERHAMPUR: A marine fisherman went missing on Friday morning after the fishing trawler carrying 13 persons capsized in the sea about five kilometers from Talachua fishing harbour of Kendrapara district.
The ill-fated fishing vessel Upasana-1 with 13 persons on board was in the sea since Tuesday but on Friday morning, it encountered gusty winds and started capsizing in the sea, said IIC Talachua marine police station Srikant Barik.
Apprehending danger, all the 13 fishermen jumped into the sea. While 12 were rescued by other boats nearby, one Radhanath Bhuyan of Pataparia village went missing. Search operation for Bhuyan is on by the marine police, coast guard and Fisheries department. All the 12 rescued fishermen are undergoing treatment in the hospital at Rajnagar, added Barik.
“Though it is mandatory for fishermen to wear life jackets on boats, not a single fishermen was seen sporting one. We are planning to file criminal case against the fishing boat owner and will take stern legal action against him,” added the officer.
In a similar incident in Chilika lake, more than 40 passengers were rescued by local fishermen, police and fire personnel after the boat they were riding in, developed technical snag mid water on Friday.
Sources said that the boat with the passengers and around 20 two-wheelers on board left for Satpada from Janhikuda. After covering around two km, the engine of the boat seized. With wind speed high, the passengers had a harrowing experience till help came in.
Some passengers reportedly posted their situation on social media that drew the attention of the police. However, prior to the police and fire personnel, local fishermen reached with an empty boat and had started rescuing passengers.
None of the passengers was seen wearing life jackets. On April 6, 2022 a boat got stuck in the water while on May 6,2022 another with 11 tourists capsized and one drowned to death. On May 28, 2022 a boat with over 30 passengers got stuck in the lagoon though all were rescued unhurt.
Despite recurrence of such mishaps, safety protocol in ferry services has been thrown to the winds. The boats continue to ferry hundreds of tourists beyond permissible capacity, with heavy bikes and without safety gears.