Demand for breakwater extension at Poompuhar harbour gathers steam as another vessel sinks off coast

At least three mechanised boats and five motorised boats have capsized in the spot over the past two years.

Published: 05th December 2022 03:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th December 2022 03:47 AM   |  A+A-

Fishers rush to recover mechanized boat capsized at sea near Poompuhar fishing harbour on Saturday | Express

Express News Service

MAYILADUTHURAI:  A fishing boat from Vanagiri in the district capsized after taking a battering from rough sea conditions near Poompuhar harbour on Saturday. With this, at least three mechanised boats and five motorised boats have capsized in the spot over the past two years, raising concerns among the fisherfolk. They now demand extension of one of the breakwaters that are built out into the sea to protect the harbour from the force of the waves.

There are two breakwater structures built to the north and south of the harbour. The breakwater structure to the south is about 1,100 metres long, curved towards the north and is sufficient to protect vessels against rough sea conditions from the south. However, the north breakwater is only about 400 metres in length, is straight and offers less protection against a rough sea in the north.

"We demand the breakwater to be extended in length in the north. The structure is too short and not curvy enough to make the waters inside and next to the harbour tranquil. Such a structure is necessary to protect the vessels travelling close to the shore and those berthed at the harbour when the sea is rough," said T Kumar, a fisherfolk representative in Poompuhar.

The boat which sank on Saturday was battling rough weather from the north. It sank near Poompuhar harbour as the fishers turned their boat towards the opening between the two breakwaters. The sea was rough and the fishers who were trying to steer towards the harbour could not save the vessel. The fishers were later rescued and the capsized boat was salvaged later.

When enquired, an official from the fisheries and fishermen welfare department said, "We are planning to extend the length of the north breakwater. We are waiting for experts from IIT-Madras to analyse the harbour and the breakwater and provide their opinion."


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