2 fishermen killed as cargo ship hits fishing boat off Kochi coast

Updated - June 11, 2017 01:28 pm IST

Published - June 11, 2017 12:46 pm IST - Kochi

Two persons were killed and one went missing when a merchant vessel rammed into a fishing boat off the coast of Kochi in the early hours of Sunday.

According to police, the Panama-registered vessel, Amber L, rammed into boat Carmel Matha, about 16 nautical miles off the Puthuvype coast around 2.30 a.m. There were 14 fishermen on board when the collsion took place.

One of the fisherman killed in the accident has been identified as Thambi Durai of Kulachil in Tamil Nadu while the other persons are yet to be identified. Meanwhile, the remaining persons were rescued by fishermen in another boat.

The injured persons have been admitted to various hospitals in Kochi.

Meanwhile, the ship fled the scene after the accident but was later arrested by the Coast Guard. The Coastal Police have registered a case against the captain of the merchant vessel for culpable homicide.

This is the second fatal incident involving a foreign ship in the sea off Kerala coast. In February 2012, two fishermen were shot dead allegedly by two Italian marines on board an oil tanker Enrica Lexie.

According to fishermen, Kerala has one of the busiest shipping channels in the country with nearly 1,000 ships plying along the route. The State has a large fishing fleet comprising about 27,000 mechanised boats, which operate in the East-West direction. The prescence of these big and small vessels has considerably increased the possibility of mid-sea collisions.

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