In yet another collision involving a merchant vessel and a fishing boat off the embattled Kerala coast, a dinghy with an outboard motor sank some 18 nautical miles off Beypore, near Kozhikode, after it was reportedly rammed by a merchant ship at 3.45 p.m. on Wednesday.

All three fishermen in the sinking boat leapt overboard and were rescued by a fishing vessel in the vicinity.

The Coast Guard, which launched a Dornier aircraft and two patrol vessels to scour the seas off Beypore to ascertain the incident and investigate the vessels that were transiting the area at the time of the reported accident, has summoned the Panama-flagged merchant ship Izumo and Indonesia-flagged bulk carrier Fenghai to the Cochin Port for further investigation.

“M.V. Izumo, bound for Singapore, was closest to the site of accident around that time. It will be at anchorage in Kochi in an hour where its hull will be inspected for any telltale signs of collision with the dinghy… Fenghai, which was heading for Indonesia, has also been asked to change course and present itself for investigation,” a Coast Guard officer told The Hindu.

The officer said the accident most likely occurred when the fishermen were trying to save their laid-out fishing net from being destroyed by the oncoming vessel.

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