2 killed, one missing in mid-sea collision

Cargo vessel Amber L detained by coastal security agencies for allegedly hitting a fishing boat, Carmel Matha, in Kochi.

Cargo vessel Amber L detained by coastal security agencies for allegedly hitting a fishing boat, Carmel Matha, in Kochi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Panama-registered cargo vessel fled the scene without rescuing the fishermen

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

According to the police, the Panama-registered vessel, Amber L, jostled the boat, Carmel Matha, owned by Nazar Palluruthy, around 2 a.m. There were 14 fishermen, including two Assam natives, on board the boat when the collision occurred.

The impact of the collision was so severe that the boat overturned and split into two, before sinking into the water. Meanwhile, the cargo vessel fled the scene, allegedly ignoring the pleas to rescue the fishermen adrift.

The deceased have been identified as Antony John alias Thambi Durai, 55, a native of Kulachil in Tamil Nadu; and Rahul, 24, a native of Assam. The person who went missing following the accident was identified as Motty Das, 26, of Assam.

Meanwhile, the remaining persons were rescued by fishing boats in the vicinity a couple of hours later and they have been admitted to various hospitals in Kochi.

The fishermen who were able to survive the accident are Ernest (35), Davis (34), Merlyn (26), Antony (26), Nelson (27), Pratheesh (28), Andrew (42), Britto (24) Armstrong (22) and Kurishu Michael (45) from Vaniyakudi, and Alto (24) from Keezhmitalam in Kanyakumari.

An official statement by the Indian Navy said the accident occurred around 30 nautical miles northwest off the Kochi coast. On an alert, the Navy mounted a search operation by launching one Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and INS Kalpeni.

The enforcement agencies confronted the vessel, which had 28 crew members on board, including its captain, a Greek national. Preliminary investigations suggested that it was heading to China from Israel.

The Coastal police in Fort Kochi registered cases against the vessel’s crew under IPC Sections 280 (rash navigation of vessel), 427 (mischief causing damage), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 304 (causing death by negligence).

‘‘The focus of the investigation is to find out the exact location where the collision took place and how it happened. The movement of the ship has been restricted as of now and letters will soon be sent to all the agencies concerned in this direction,’’ said P. Vijayan, Inspector General of Police, Kochi Range.

Meanwhile, the official sought to set aside the uncertainty over the exact location of the accident as notification by the Union Home Ministry last year effectively extended the jurisdiction of this police station to 200 nautical miles towards the sea.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 4:58:49 AM |

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