Contact established with more missing Tamil Nadu fishermen


Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government and fishermen’s associations were Sunday able to establish contact with six fishing boats out of the 16 that were untraceable after the Phyan cyclone in the Arabian Sea while the Indian Coast Guard continues its search operations.

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“Communication has been established with six fishing boats while we have not able to contact ten. The fishermen from our district are reaching the shores of Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat,” Kanyakumari District Collector Rajendra Ratnoo told IANS over phone.

He said of the eight boats that capsized in the Arabian Sea, three have been towed ashore and the fishermen in those boats have been saved.

“The Indian Coast Guard located some fishing boats near Lakshadweep this morning. There were no distress signals from them. However, there is no information about eight fishermen,” he added.

Denying complaints that the state administration is slow in bringing the distressed fishermen to Kanyakumari from Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, Ratnoo said: “We are in contact with officials of those states and have made arrangements for bringing our fishermen back at the earliest.”

Speaking to IANS over phone from Thuthur in Kanyakumari district, John Aloysius, secretary of Nanjil Migrating Fishermen Workers’ Union, said: “As per information available, eight boats are slowly returning to Kanyakumari. Their speed has gone down due to damages.”

Around 500 boats that set out into the sea Nov 1 were caught by Phyan cyclone and there was no information about 150 boats till Friday morning.

Each boat had an average of 10 men on board.

According to Aloysius, many of the fishermen reaching the shores of other states landed in just their undergarments and called on the state government to take urgent steps to bring them back.

He also said the Coast Guard should take one or two fishermen on board while carrying out the aerial search for identifying their normal fishing spots.