Boat wreck: probe sought into Navy collision angle

Suvarna Tribhuja. DH Photo Sadashiva MS

The Indian Navy has found the wreckage of fishing vessel Suvarna Tribhuja, which went missing in the Arabian Sea in December even as MLA Udupi Ragupathy Bhat and former minister Pramod Madhwaraj demanded a probe over suspicion that a Naval ship had collided with the vessel.

The vessel had gone missing in the third week of December 2018 33 km off the coast of Malvan in Maharashtra.

The Indian Navy tweeted that the personnel onboard INS Nireekshak and diving experts on Wednesday located the wreckage of the fishing vessel 60 feet deep.

However, there is no information about seven fishermen who were onboard Suvarna Tribhuja, including five from Uttara Kannada and two from Malpe.

The fishing vessel had left Malpe harbour on December 13. The last communication from the vessel was received from Sindhudurg on December 15, 2018.

Hundreds of fishing boats had launched a combined search for the missing vessel.

After the intense search by naval ships and aircraft failed, INS Nireekashak successfully located the wreckage using SONAR technology.

Naval officials on board INS Nireekahsk took family members of the missing fishermen and Udupi legislator Raghupaty Bhat to the place where the wreckage was found.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier said that the search operations would be conducted in the presence of the family members of the missing fishermen.

The MLA said there was no possibility of the seven fishermen being alive as the cabin of the fishing boat was found broken.

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