Kerala asks navy, IAF to continue search for fishermen

Kerala asks navy, IAF to continue search for fishermen

The Kerala government on Saturday requested the navy, the coast guard and the air force to continue the search operations for the missing fishermen in the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi, for another 10 days.

Chief Secretary K M Abraham sent an urgent letter to Rear Admiral R Nadkarni, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command, Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, AOC Southern Air command and Additional Director General K Natarajan, Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard), Mumbai, an official press release said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is in Delhi, will be meeting Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss the matter with her.

He will also be meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh with regard to the state's plea for a special central package to rehabilitate families affected by Ockhi cyclone.

The chief secretary, in his letter, stated that reports had reached the state government from fishermen of Thiruvananthapuram that floating bodies of fishermen were spotted in the high seas.

The fishermen have also appealed to step up operations to retrieve the bodies and search for survivors and also take them on board the rescue ships and interceptor boats.

The chief secretary also asked the navy and coast guard to mobilise sufficient ships at Vizhinjam for taking the fishermen to the deep seas in their rescue and search operations.

An official of the district administration should also be deployed in the search vessels, it was stated.

So far, 37 people have lost their lives in the cyclone which left several others missing.

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