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3 fishermen dead, 9 missing after their boat collides with ship off Kochi coast

Three bodies were recovered from the water, while two were taken to the hospital.

india Updated: Aug 07, 2018 16:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala,kerala boat capsize,fishermen die after boat capsizes
The boat named ‘Oceana’ with 15 fishermen on board was hit on Tuesday morning. (PTI File Photo/Representative image)

Rescuers pulled the bodies of three fishermen from the waters off Munambam near Kerala’s Kochi and began a search for nine missing men after their fishing boat was hit by a cargo ship early on Tuesday, officials said.

The state coastal police said there were 15 people on board the fishing vessel ‘Oceana’ and that the accident occurred at least 25 nautical miles away from the Kerala coast around 4am.

The bodies of the three men, all from neighbouring Tamil Nadu, were brought to the shore and Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy started a search operation for the missing.

The navy deployed a Sea King helicopter for the search and rescue operation after the Kerala government alerted it about the accident.

“Efforts are on to locate the missing. It is sad such incidents are happening frequently. Only a probe can ascertain whether the ship or boat violated the guidelines,” said state fisheries minister J Mercikutty Amma.

The coast guard identified that Indian cargo ship MV Des Shakti was behind the accident and efforts are on to intercept and bring it to the Kerala coast.

Survivors said the ship sped away after the collision as their boat broke and capsized under the impact. Three people were rescued by other boats in the vicinity and rushed to Kochi. The condition of one of them is stated to be serious.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has instructed the Ernakulam’s district collector to ensure the best treatment for survivors.

Fishermen’s bodies said they will organise mass protests if authorities failed to protect them in the future.

Two fishermen were injured when a foreign vessel allegedly hit their fishing boat on June 7 off the Kerala coast.

First Published: Aug 07, 2018 14:42 IST