Fishermen's bodies remain untraceable

The sighting of a body, suspected to be that of one of the missing fishermen on Don-I, kicked up a frenzy on the coast here on Thursday morning, but simmered down towards the evening with the body remaining untraceable despite an army of searchers, including a Coast Guard chopper and police boats, in action.

It was around 10 a.m. that the Kollam district administration received a telephone call from fishermen about a body floating off the Aroor coast.

Soon the information was passed on to the Alappuzha district administration, which in no time alerted the Coast Guard and the police. However, by the time the Coast Guard helicopter from Kochi and the police boats from Kollam reached the reported spot, there was nothing to be found. Fishing boats from Kollam and Thottapally joined the search hours later, but no body was found even by 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, with the news being relayed across the fishing community, relatives of Bernard and Cleetus, the two men who remain missing after their fishing boat was rammed by a ship off the Alappuzha coast on March 1, rushed to the Thottapally fishing harbour.

They remained in constant touch with the fishing boats that joined the search on mobile phones and wireless sets.

Henry, one of the relatives of Bernard, said he was reconciled to the reality that his cousin would never return alive.

“But we still hope to have a last glimpse of at least his body, which is why we are here,” he said.

His wait, which began around 11.30 a.m., went on till 5.30 p.m., after which he returned dejected, but still hoping that the continuing search would bring back home some news.

A large number of fishermen from Kollam and from Thottapally and an entourage of officials from Kollam district reached the spot before 3 p.m. and sat around waiting for news of the body.

The hope that burned bright on their faces slowly began to turn dim around 5 p.m. when messages began pouring in from the sea that nothing was traced yet.

And after eight days on the trot, waiting for a final word on what happened to the men missing after the accident that had already snatched the lives of three from them, they slowly trudged back home.

  • Sighting of a body off Aroor coast kicks up a frenzy

  • Coast Guard chopper engaged

    in search