The Indian Coast Guard on Wednesday extended assistance to a Sri Lankan fishing boat that had gone adrift off Kanyakumari following engine failure three days ago.

The boat, currently being towed to Tuticorin for repairs and repatriation of its five-member crew, is likely to reach there on Thursday morning.

According to a Coast Guard media release, its Maritime Rescue Sub Centre here received a message from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at Colombo on Sunday night requesting assistance to a disabled fishing vessel, ‘Bambi (Rahul-I),' which was drifting 115 nautical miles southwest of Kanyakumari.

Although a Dornier aircraft was launched from Kochi for search operations on Monday morning, bad weather prevented sighting of the boat in distress. Another Dornier sortie on Tuesday morning detected the boat about 88 nautical miles southwest of Kanyakumari. It established communication with the boat and ascertained that the crew members were safe.

On the same day at noon, Coast Guard's Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) Samar sailed out from Kochi to provide assistance to the vessel. In a rendezvous with it on Wednesday morning, the Samar team found that the boat's engine had failed due to fuel contamination. The Coast Guard also provided food and water to the starving crew.

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