Bodies of four Odisha fishermen wash up on Bengal shores

According to police, three trawlers had left the shores from Kirtania Ghat of Odisha and lost contact with the other trawlers.The sea was rough over the past two days due to rains and wind, but it appeared that the fishermen in these vessel ignored warnings.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2018 21:38 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar/Midnapore
Indian fishermen,Odisha,Hilsa
Fishermen head out to the sea on the Bay of Bengal near Visakhapatnam.(AFP Photo/Representative image)

The bodies of four Odiya fishermen, who had left their village with 13 others on Saturday for fishing Hilsa in Bay of Bengal were recovered from coastal West Bengal at Digha, Mandarmani and adjoining areas.

“We suspect these are bodies of fishermen who were missing from Odisha. We are contacting Odisha Police to identify them,” said Indrajit Basu, additional superintendent of police (rural) in East Midnapore district.

According to police, three trawlers had left the shores from Kirtania Ghat of Odisha and lost contact with the other trawlers. The sea was rough over the past two days due to rains and wind, but it appeared that the fishermen in these vessel ignored warnings.

Jaleswar sub-divisional police officer Ramachandra Gouda said the fishing trawlers had gone out to sea for Hilsa fish. “For last few days, the fishermen have got lucky as they hauled good amount of Hilsa fish. It seems these fishermen had managed to catch more than they bargained for and when the weather turned stormy, the boats capsized,” he said. While 11 fishermen either managed to swim ashore or were rescued by local fishermen, five were missing since Sunday morning.

On Monday morning parts of broken trawlers were found in Bengal waters. Police officers suspected it was part of the two vessels that went missing.

Police officers said bodies of four fishermen were found at Mandermani and Talsari beach on Odisha-Bengal border. The deceased fishermen were identified as Jhadeshwar Pal, Kushakanta Behera, Ajay Behera and Sanjay Behera. While one more body was found, policemen could not confirm whether it was that of missing fisherman Rajendra Majhi.

Earlier this month, another trawler capsized near the Bengal coast in South 24 Parganas and the Coast Guard recovered 14 bodies of fishermen over the past few days.

On 16 July a trawler named Jai Kishan with 19 fishermen capsized in the Bay of Bengal, about 20 km from the Frazergunj coast in Bengal.

Surajit Bag, additional director of fisheries (marine), West Bengal, said, “Many fishermen are not following our instructions and are venturing out to catch fish even when the sea is rough.”

First Published: Jul 23, 2018 21:38 IST