Special Correspondent

They went adrift on November 10

CHENNAI: Six Sri Lankan fishermen, who went adrift six days ago in the Bay of Bengal, were rescued by Coast Guard on Thursday.

A search and rescue mission was launched after a request from the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission here on November 13.

The fishermen went adrift on `Malintha Putha - 2' in the West Bay of Bengal since November 10.

Coordinated search

The Chennai-headquartered Eastern Region of the Coast Guard launched Dorniers from Kolkata on November 14 and 15 and a patrol vessel, CGS Chandbibi, from Visakhapatnam on November 14.

The air-sea coordinated search yielded results and the fishing vessel was located 188 nautical miles from Visakhapatnam on November 15.

The crew of CGS Chandbibi established contact with the fishermen and rendered them assistance. Since it was not possible to carry out repairs mid-sea, the fishing boat was towed to Visakhapatnam.

The crew and the boat would reach the port on November 17.

Coast Guard hopes to carry out repairs and hand over the boat and its crew to the Sri Lankan authorities by November 20.