Investigators focussing on vessels that crossed scene

The Coast Guard has ordered an enquiry into the circumstances that led to the capsize of a fishing boat that left one fisherman dead off the Mandapam Coast near Rameswaram a couple of days ago.

“We have constituted a board of enquiry headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Coast Guard. We will establish the facts…it is sad that a fisherman lost his life,” Inspector General and Commander of Coast Guard (Region East) Satya Prakash Sharma said on Saturday.

On information from the Coastal Security Group (CSG) that a fishing boat had capsized and a fisherman was missing off the Mandapam coast, the Coast Guard launched an intensive search operation. Besides defence vessels, aircraft and helicopters were also pressed into service.

Additional Director General of Police (CSG) C. Sylendra Babu said that investigators had identified the coordinates of the mishap scene. “It is some eight nautical miles off the Mandapam coast. We are now analysing the number of vessels that passed through the scene of accident.”

He said that a special team of the CSG is investigating the case. Though some members of the public and four fishermen, who remained afloat after the mishap and managed to reach the coast with the help of another fishing boat, alleged that a Coast Guard vessel was involved in the incident, a conclusive finding would be based on available evidence, he said.

The body of the missing fisherman was retrieved by the CSG with the help of local fishermen on Saturday, he said, and added that investigation was being done in tandem with other agencies.

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