The 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen, set free by a court in Sri Lanka after being detained by the island navy on the charge of poaching, arrived at Mandapam coast near here on Saturday.

The fishermen, taken into custody on July 22 when they were fishing near Katchatheevu, were released by a court in Mannar on Friday after India made an appeal to Sri Lanka.

Indian Coast Guard personnel, to whom the fishermen along with their five boats were handed over by Sri Lankan Navy personnel at the International Maritime Border, brought them to the shores this morning, Assistant Director of Fisheries Karthikeyan said.

However, the arrival of the fishermen was delayed by nearly 12 hours as the boats ran out of diesel in midsea.

The family members of the fishermen, belonging to Rameswaram, were present at Mandapam shores to welcome them.

The fishermen alleged they were initially lodged in a bathroom in the police station in Mannar and not provided food.