Their boat left the shores on Nov. 26

Nine fishermen from Kasimedu fishing harbour are reported missing at sea. Their boat, which left the shores on November 26 in search of tuna fish, was last sighted on Tuesday by fishermen on other boats that returned the next day. Members of the Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram Mechanised Boat Owners Association led by Kuppan said the complaint was registered on Friday with the Coast Guard after the owner, Suresh, got worried about the lack of communication and the rough sea.

The boat has a month’s provisions and it was supposed to return after 15 days. The boat’s driver, Joseph, had planned to fish in a straight line perpendicular to the Chennai coast. Sources in the Fisheries Department said the situation was being closely monitored. The Coast Guard had conducted an aerial search on Saturday. It is suspected that the boat might have had engine failure and it could have drifted south. The search operations continue, the sources said.

On Friday, fishermen had launched a search operation in vain. This is the first boat to go missing this monsoon. M. D. Dayalan of Indian Fishermen Association alleged that the Coast Guard takes time to respond as when fisherfolk go with a complaint to the Coast Guard they do not understand Tamil. “Most of the times it is fishermen themselves who trace the missing boats or fishermen,” he said.

Meanwhile, Coast Guard Inspector General S. P. Sharma said a general alert had been issued to fishermen asking them not to venture into the sea.

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