Mangaluru

‘Trace missing boat in three days or face stir’

A file photo of the missing fishing boat, Suvarna Tribhuja, at Malpe Fisheries Harbour in Udupi.

A file photo of the missing fishing boat, Suvarna Tribhuja, at Malpe Fisheries Harbour in Udupi.  

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The Malpe Fishermen’s Association has given an ultimatum of three days to the State government to trace the fishing boat with seven fishermen on board which went missing off the Goa coast.

The boat, Suvarna Tribhuja, left the Malpe fisheries harbour along with about 20 boats for fishing in the deep seas on December 13.

Addressing presspresons here on Monday, Satish Kundar, president of the association, said that the deep-sea trawler had seven fishermen on board, including Damodar, Laxman, Harish, Satish, Ravi, Ramesh, and the owner of the trawler, Chandrashekhar Kotian.

The last communication from it was at 1 a.m. on December 15 when it was in touch with another fishing boat, Vasudeva.

One message was traced by a mobile tower to a phone on board the missing boat (the message did not reach the phone) near Malvan in Maharashtra on December 16. But this was close to the same location from where the last communication was made.

As no contact could be made with Suvarna Tribhuja from 5.30 a.m. onwards on December 15, the remaining boats sent wireless messages to other boats.

The fishermen suspected that the boat may have been hijacked by local pirates or terrorists. There was no trace of the boat despite search operations by the Coast Guard and Navy in the sea and backwaters on the border of Goa and Maharashtra.

The fishermen said that if the boat had sunk, the debris would have floated and there would be traces of oil spill. The local pirates could repaint and use the missing boat. The families of the seven fishermen were anxious, Mr. Kundar said.

The fishermen were frightened. The boats that had returned to the Malpe fisheries harbour had not gone back to fishing. There were 1,100 deep sea trawlers in Malpe harbour, Mr. Kundar said.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy should speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and get the central intelligence agencies to track the boat.

If the boat was not traced in three days, the Malpe Fishermen’s Association along with other fishermen’s associations in three coastal districts of the State will launch an intense agitation, Mr. Kundar added.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 4:17:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/trace-missing-boat-in-three-days-or-face-stir/article25875231.ece

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