Three trawlers have capsized in a storm while 15 others with 240 people on board are missing in Bay of Bengal near Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district.
Authorities have traced 25 of the 40 trawlers which went missing Sunday night. Three of them 'Suryanarayan', 'Maharudra' and 'Sarwasti' capsized near Jambu Dwip in the sea during a storm last evening.
All the fisherman of 'Maharudra' and 'Sarwasti' have been rescused. However, eight out of 15 fishermen of 'Suryanarayan' are still missing, D Chattoraj, joint secretary, Fisheries Department, told PTI said.
"Out of the 40 trawlers which were said to be missing 25 have been traced. Three of them had capsized and 22 trawlers have returned," he said.
The Coast Guard had been alerted and efforts were launched to locate the trawlers, Sunderban development minister Manturam Pakhira said.
"We have informed the coast guard and coastal police stations and other concerned authorities. We are monitoring the situation," Sandip Mondal, Director, Directorate of Fisheries (Marine), told PTI.
The trawlers, each carrying about 16 fishermen, had gone to sea for fishing a few days ago but contact between them and a liason unit of Fishermen Association at Kakdwip snapped during the storm last night, Association secretary Jaykrishna Halder said.
The rescued fishermen have been hospitalised, he added.
Chattoraj said, "Sometimes the trawlers are unable to make radio contact with the coastal area which leads to a sense of panic. In this case most of the trawlers were stuck in the storm."
Five other trawlers which set off from Raidighi in the same district managed to reach Dhamra Port in Odisha. All the fishermen were safe, he said.