The Coast Guard will launch aerial surveillance early on Saturday to locate four missing fishermen who ventured into sea from Thengaaipattinam in Nagercoil district on Thursday, Inspector General of Coast Guard (Region East) Commander Satya Prakash Sharma said on Friday.

Ruling out the possibility of the fishermen crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line, he said that two ships were engaged in search operations off the Kanyakumari coast.

“It is possible that there could have been an engine breakdown and the boat is drifting… we are not sure whether global Positioning System has been installed on the boat,” he said.

In a separate development, he said that the Coast Guard rescued 11 crew members on board an abandoned tug off the Kanyakumari coast on Friday. The rescue operation coincided with the 37{+t}{+h}Raising Day of the Indian Coast Guard on Friday.

Commander Sharma said that the tug Baldev that was sailing to Visakhapatnam when it developed engine failure. It was anchored 27 nautical miles south of Kanyakumari for repair works. Due to rough weather, the tug started taking in water forcing the 11-member crew to abandon it and board a life raft.

ICGS Naikidevi launched the rescue operation and rescued the crew from the life raft.