Madurai

Fisherman, who went missing off Mangalore coast, returns

R. Velmurugan with relatives at Kannirajapuram near Sayalkudi in Ramanathapuram district.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

R. Velmurugan, 28, who was one among the 14 fishermen on board a mechanised boat which collided head on with a cargo ship from Singapore off Mangalore coast three days ago, returned home here on Thursday night.

“I struggled in mid-sea for almost two hours,” he said. On April 11, 14 fishermen including seven from Tamil Nadu and another seven from West Bengal and Assam ventured into the sea for deep sea fishing along the Mangalore coast on a mechanised boat owned by Jaffar of Kozhikode, Kerala. On April 13, at around 11.30 a.m., when the sea was rough and visibility was poor, the boat collided with the cargo ship off 60 nautical miles from Mangalore coast.

The boat capsized and all the fishermen aboard went missing. The Indian Coast Guard deployed helicopter and surveillance teams on a rescue operation. While the ICG retrieved three bodies, which were identified as Alexander (38), his father-in-law Manikdasan (60) from Kanniyakumari district and another fisherman from West Bengal (name unknown). The operation continued in the region in search of other missing fishermen.

Meanwhile, two fishermen including Velmurugan and Sunil Das from West Bengal, who were struggling in mid-sea for over two hours, were spotted by some staff on board the Singapore cargo ship. Immediately, they rescued the duo safely.

Fisherman Velmurugan reached home with the help of officials from the Tamil Nadu government. According to him, the whereabouts of three others, whose names were given as Palanivel, Vedamanikam and Balamurugan from Kannirajapuram, who were also on the same boat, were unknown.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 11:08:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/fisherman-who-went-missing-off-mangalore-coast-returns/article34336860.ece

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