The six fishermen who were saved by Coast Guard officials reached Haldia Port on Saturday, shaken and stirred. They were rescued off the coast of Bengal after being adrift in the Bay for 15 days after the engine of their trawler failed.“The fishermen from Andhra Pradesh were carrying food and rations. When the rations ran out, they caught fish to survive. Since they were running out of water, they kept mixing sea water with sweet water,” Coast Guard spokesperson, assistant commandant Avinandan Mitra, Headquarters, Coast Guard Region (North East) said on Saturday. He also informed that the fishermen have left for Andhra Pradesh by train.
The trawler went out to the sea from Machlipatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It drifted near the Bengal coast after the trawler’s engine failed due to a technical snag. The fishing boat was located about 145 nautical miles away from the Sagar lighthouse in South 24 Parganas. They had been adrift since June 18.
A Coast guard Dornier aircraft from Bhubaneswar during a routine sortie sighted the trawler on July 2 at 11:45am The Coast Guard headquarters (north east) Kolkata immediately launched an operation to rescue the fishermen.
“ICGS Rajkiran on patrol was diverted for search and rescue operations. The ship arrived in the area at about 8am on July 3 and braved heavy swell and extreme rough sea conditions to render assistance to the boat. The boat was adrift without propulsion and power supply because of engine failure,” the PRO said.The spokesperson also informed that since towing the trawler was not feasible because of rough sea conditions, all the six crew of fishing were taken onboard ICGS Rajkiran.