CHENNAI: Stepping up the efforts to locate and rescue the missing fishermen, the Coast Guard and the Navy are intensifying search operations along the entire west coast, according to official sources.
As many as 11 ships including one with a helicopter, three Dornier aircraft and three helicopters belonging to the Coast Guard have swung into action. The Navy has pressed into service four ships, two Dornier aircraft and an equal number of choppers in the mission, they said.
Meanwhile, a release issued by the Press Information Bureau said that 32 TN fishing boats, along with 346 fishermen, had taken shelter at Karwar out of 129 fishing boats and 1247 fishermen belonging to Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra. As many as 25 Tamil Nadu fishing boats have also taken shelter at Meriya Bander, Ratnagiri and Devgarh, the release said.
In addition, 80 fishing boats from Kerala, 45 from Karnataka, and 15 from Goa have reached safely Devgarh, Malvan, Meriya Bandar and Karwar ports. The Coast Guard Dornier CG 765, along with ICGS Vaibhav, ICGS Abhiraj and ICGS Aadesh, has been tasked for the sea-air coordinated search. ICGS Sarathi rescued 15 survivors west off Vizhinjam on Dec. 2.
ICGS Aryaman, ICGS Amritya and ICGS Abhinav rescued 19, 22 and five survivors off Manakkodam and off Beypore on Dec. 3, the release added.
ICGS Shoor rescued four fishermen from fishing boat ST Antony which was grounded in the lagoon area of the Suhelipar Island. ICGS Samar rescued three survivors from the capsized boat Salai Thanne. Presently three ICG ships, one CG aircraft of the eastern region are continuing the search and rescue operation off the Kanniyakumari coast.
The search operations are also being carried out off the Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Lakshadweep and Minicoy coast.