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Four killed and six rescued in the boat tragedy off the Rameshwaram Coast

Six fishermen were rescued and four bodies recovered by the Indian coastguards from the Motorized fiber boat which capsized in the mid sea near Palk bay while it was on its way from Cuddalore to Rameshwaram on September third according to a coast guard press release. 

Crew holding on to a makeshift raft when the coastguard reached them 

The crew were holding on to a makeshift raft which they constructed using the floating debris when the coastguard rescue boats reached them, Two fishermen swam towards a boat which they sighted and were rescued. 

Immediately on receipt of the information Indian Coast Guard initiated Search and Rescue operation. Four frontline Fast Patrol Vessels of the Coast Guard ICGS Abheek,ICGS Anagh, ICGS Rani Durgavati and ICGS Priyadarshini and other units including Interceptor boat from Karaikal ICGS C-435 and hovercrafts H-190, H-195 from Mandapam were pressed into action to undertake search. 32 hours of extensive sea-air coordinated search was undertaken by Coast Guard Dorniers and Helicopters ex INS Parundu. 

Owing to continuous search for six days, six rescued and four bodies recovered 

Owing to continuous search efforts by the Indian Coast Guard in coordination with local Coastal Security Group and Fishermen despite rough sea and weather conditions in the area for six days, six survivors were rescued and four bodies were recovered. 

The incident took place at about 12 noon on September third off Uchipuli while the crew were returning to Rameswaram in their newly purchased boat. The crew were holding onto a makeshift raft which they constructed using floating debris. Two, out of the ten crew, swam towards a boat which they sighted on morning of 04 Sep and were subsequently rescued about 15 nautical miles off Mallipattinam. 

Four of the remaining eight missing crew were rescued by ICGS Abheek on September 5 in coordination with local fishing boat. The rescued crew were provided first aid and medical treatment and later safely brought ashore. 

The search continued for another two days to locate the remaining four missing fishermen. However, subsequently four bodies were recovered by ICG and CSG and handed over to their bereaved families 

Persisting problem, fishing boats do not carry basic communication set , operate beyond mobile coverage  

The incident highlights the persisting problem wherein the fishing boats venturing out to sea do not carry basic communication set and operate in far areas beyond mobile coverage. 

These boats are generally observed to be deficient in carrying the Lifesaving equipment such as life jacket, life buoy and Distress Alert Transmitters (DATs). This issue has been regularly highlighted during community awareness and interaction programs that are regularly conducted by Indian Coast Guard.


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