Four people, including a five-year-old boy, drowned while six went missing after a boat carrying 30 people, mostly fishermen, capsized off Pachu Bunder at Vasai on Sunday afternoon.
The Vasai police said four bodies were washed ashore at Pachu Bunder in the evening while attempts were being made to trace the missing people.
The group from Vasai was on its way to Bhayandar creek when the boat capsized. Fishing activities stop during the monsoon because the sea gets rough and fishermen are advised against going in. The victims belonged to the fishing community from the Kochiwada fishermen’s colony and they were on their way to a local temple to pray for a good fishing season.
“We received a call from fishermen at Pachu Bunder about the four bodies. When we reached there we found a boat near the shore. We managed to rescue 20 people,” said a police officer.
The bodies have been sent to the Bhayandar Primary Health Centre for post-mortem. Rajendra Wayda, assistant fisheries director, said the group was in a two-cylinder boat that is usually not used for fishing.
“People here use such small boats to travel short distances,” Wayde said. “However, we will conduct an inquiry on Monday to find out who the boat belongs to and why the group ventured into the sea despite warnings.”
On September 28, 2007, more than 350 boats carrying at least 4,200 fishermen had set out for fishing from Paachu Bandar and surrounding areas. Seventy-eight boats got stuck in a cyclone off the Dahanu coast. Three of these could not be traced for five days because their wireless system broke down.
Due to torrential rains and the rough sea, 38 boats sailed towards Somnath and Jafrabad ports near Gujarat while 150 boats managed to return to the Vasai Pachu port.