Five fishing trawlers and one canoe from Goa, with about 60 crew members on board, are still missing after cyclone Phyan passed through the Arabian sea a couple of days ago, Fisheries Department Scientific Officer Nandakishore Verlekar told The Hindu on Friday evening.

According to reports from the Coast Guard, the Fisheries Federation and other agencies, which have been trying to locate the missing vessels for the past two days, two trawlers and one canoe capsized, while three were still missing.

They were in contact with jetties in Maharashtra to see if the trawlers and fishermen got caught in the storm and drifted there, Mr. Verlekar said.

According to the Coast Guard, five fishing trawlers from Goa with a crew of 40 are still missing. “A total of three Coast Guard ships, a Coast Guard fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter have continued with their search offshore as well as onshore,” said a press release.

Earlier, addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat announced a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh each to 39 crew members on board the five missing fishing trawlers and two canoes.

Fisheries officials admitted that there was a lack of clarity over the numbers, with figures coming from different agencies. They were updating the figures as and when reports were received about location or capsize of vessels.

Menino Afonso, president of the Mandovi Fishing Federation, which represents north Goa trawler operators, told The Hindu that two trawlers from north Goa with 16 men on board were still missing. He had received confirmation about two trawlers having capsized in the sea near Ratnagiri-Jaigad in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. Only six of the 29 crew members were rescued by the Coast Guard.

No bodies were recovered so far, he said.


Cyclone Phyan lashes Gujarat, Maharashtra November 11, 2009

Unseasonal rain threatens cropsNovember 12, 2009