Twenty-three fishermen who set out from the Kerala coast in two separate fishing boats are feared missing, said officials of Fisheries Department.
The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) and the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had warned the fishermen at sea to return to the shore as Cyclone Tauktae was intensifying. However, the officials stated that there has been no communication from the two boats.
Of the two, 15 fishermen are part of a fishing boat named ‘Ajmir Shah’, which set out from Kozhikode’s Beypore coast, while eight fishermen are part of a boat named ‘Andavar Thunai’, which set out from Kochi.
The fishing boat, Andavar Thunai, is owned by Nagapattinam native Manivel and the fishermen onboard are all reportedly Tamil Nadu natives.
According to Fisheries department officials, both boats had ventured into the sea earlier this month, before the cyclone alert was issued.
“These are gill net boats, which set out to the sea to fish continuously for up to three weeks. Some of the similar boats, which had gone from Kerala, have even harboured in the Gujarat and Thengapattanam coast of Tamil Nadu after the warning was issued. So we can understand how far the boats had been,” said Aneesh P, Assistant Director of Fisheries in Ernakulam district.
Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports that some fishermen have landed in Lakshadweep Islands. However, there is no confirmation if these are the fishermen of the ‘Andavar Thunai’ boat, said the official.
According to Fisheries Department officials in Beypore, the missing fishing boat Ajmir Shah had set out near Mangaluru coast. “The owner of the boat said they had set out near Mangaluru coast. We have given information to the Coast Guard and they are searching,” said the official.
Meanwhile, on the night of Friday, 14 May, the Indian Coast Guard on Saturday, 15 May, recused three fishermen who had set off to sea from Kerala’s Kannur. Coast Guard ship Vikram rescued the fishing boat named ‘Badhriya’, which had left the Talessary Harbour on 9 May.
The fishermen were provided medical emergency treatment onboard the ICG ship. The ICG headquarters in Kerala and Mahe coordinated the search and rescue operation in the state. District Commander DIG Sanatan Jena said that despite the extremely rough sea conditions, ICG ships were out at sea rescuing the fishermen trapped in rough sea and wind conditions.
(The story has been published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)
. Read more on India by The Quint.Cyclone Tauktae: 23 Fishermen From Kerala Feared Lost At SeaLockdown in Delhi, Punjab Extended; 2nd Batch of Sputnik V Arrives . Read more on India by The Quint.