Staff Reporter

Fisheries Survey, Coast Guard vessels to continue search

CHENNAI: The Fisheries department has denied charges of negligence in tracing the missing fishermen from Chennai.

One of the four missing boats that had left from the city carrying five fishermen was found capsized at Poompuhar, near Nagapattinam, with no sign of its crew. The previous three boards returned safely.

A vessel from the Fisheries Survey of India and the Coast Guard would continue the search for the five missing fishermen from Chennai, said an official statement.

On complaints that storm warnings had not been issued before the fishermen set out to sea, the statement said the first storm warning from the Meteorological Department was received on October 28 evening. The fishermen had set out in the two preceding days.

It added that the Fisheries Minister, K.P.P. Sami, visited Royapuram Fishing Harbour to meet the affected families and tell them about the steps being undertaken to rescue the missing fishermen on Wednesday.

The Special Commissioner of Fisheries, Mohan Verghese Chunkath, held discussions with and updated the Chennai-Kancheepuram-Thiruvallur Mechanised Boat Association about the action taken on Thursday.

Coast Guard ships had expanded their area of search and were used in sea-air coordination search on Friday. The Director General, Fishery Survey of India, had agreed to provide their survey vessels for the search operation, following the request of the Secretary to the Government, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Department, Leena Nair, it adds.

The Department officials were constantly monitoring the situation and informing the families at Royapuram, the statement added.