Mid-sea hit-and-run in capital coast

Fishing boat involved in collision with ship; three fishermen escape unhurt

Published - August 08, 2017 09:28 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

In a suspected case of mid-sea collision, a fishing boat was allegedly hit by a ship off the Thiruvananthapuram coast in the wee hours of Tuesday. While the three fishermen who were in the boat escaped unhurt, the ship sped away after the collision.

The incident is reported to have occurred about 4 nautical miles off the Veli coast between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. when three fishermen were fishing aboard Soumya, a fibre boat, owned by Rajan Thomas of Vizhinjam.

According to the Vizhinjam coastal police, which have registered a case, the fishing boat was allegedly hit by the ship as it took a turn. The fishermen, who were identified as Dasan Antony, Kenny, and Antony, fell into the sea. They soon managed to hold on to the capsized boat, following which they were rescued by other fishermen.

Despite claims that the boat was hit by a foreign vessel, officials maintained that the ship was yet to be identified. The fishermen could only manage to note the red colour of the vessel, sources said.

On being alerted, the coastal police soon informed the Indian Coast Guard, the multi-agency Joint Operations Centre in Kochi, and the Marine Enforcement of the incident.

While the incident is yet another signifier of the immense risks faced by fishermen, it comes close on the heels of an incident that had taken place off the Puthuvype coast in Kochi two months ago when a merchant vessel rammed into a fishing boat, resulting in the death of two fishermen and another missing.

In 2012, two fishermen who had gone fishing in a mechanised boat from the Neendakara fishing harbour in Kollam were allegedly shot dead by two Italian marines who were on board Enrica Lexie, an Italian oil tanker. The incident snowballed into a major international controversy which threatened to impact the bilateral ties between India and Italy.

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