Search on for missing fishermen

Families of at least 150 fishermen of five fishing hamlets in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district waited for news of their bread-winners.

Of the 327 mechanized fishing boats that left the shores of Kanyakumari to join their counterparts on the Western coast in Kerala from November 3 to November 5, for a deep sea fishing expedition that extends right up to the Gujarat coast, the safety of “nearly 300 trawlers have been ensured,” official sources told Deccan Herald on Saturday evening.

These boats strayed after being caught in the cyclone ‘Phyan’, causing dismay in the fishing community of the five villages bordering Kerala.

The “boats are in the sea” and returning to their respective bases from Kochi to Karwar, sources said.

Official sources in Kanyakumari said there was no word till Friday evening of the remaining 28 boats. The number came down and by 5 pm on Saturday only 16 mechanised boats with about 150 fishermen on board had to be accounted for.

The district administration on Saturday evening received a communication from the Kochi Coast Guard Centre that 20 boats were located near the Lakshadweep Islands and the fishermen in those boats might not be getting signals to contact back home, sources said. “Not being in contact does not mean that they (fishermen) are in distress,” officials took pains to add.

Not to worry

These trawlers not only have boat-to-boat wireless communication but are also fitted with GPS-based positioning systems and hence there was no cause for alarm, they explained.

So far, only seven mechanized boats have been confirmed to have been drowned with four others found ‘washed ashore’ in places along the West coast, they said.

The Kanyakumari District Collector, Rajendra Ratnoo has set up a four-member Coordination Committee in each of the five fishing hamlets where families are anxious to know about the fate of their fishermen. The Committee members in touch with higher officials and the Coast Guard were regularly updating the distressed family members.

Another depression over Kanyakumari

A new low pressure area has been formed over the Cape Comorin area down south and its neighbourhood, the Regional Meteorological Centre here on Saturday said, predicting more Monsoon rains, reports DHNS from Chennai.

A trough from this system extends to Tamil Nadu and South Andhra coast. It has again begun to rain heavily in the landslips-hit Nilgiris district since Friday night, where 43 people were killed just two days back.

While a maximum of 4 cm was recorded at ‘Kundah Bridge’ in that district in the past 24 hours ending 0830 hours on Saturday, the rains have hampered relief work. Chennai too was lashed by rains since Saturday afternoon. 

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