Four or five out of eight trawlers, with over a hundred fishermen on board, that went missing in the Bay of Bengal after a cyclonic storm hit them in the early hours yesterday have been located by the Coast Guard but they could not be rescued immediately due to bad weather. The Coast Guard is continuing search and rescue operations.
Bijan Maity, of the Kakdwip fishermen’s association, said that altogether eight trawlers had gotten into trouble after the storm hit late at night on 8 August. He said that while four or five of the trawlers were located today by the Coast Guard, the fate of at least 104 fishermen is still unconfirmed.He said details of the missing fishermen were not immediately available yesterday, but today, owners of the missing trawlers and families of the missing fishermen provided the details to the association.
As many as 118 fishermen had gone missing in the wake of the storm, but early this morning, 14 fishermen were rescued at Kendua dwip (island) but their trawler, FB Rajeswari, that operates out of Nainan, is yet to be traced.
The Coast Guard today also rescued the Ma Tara trawler with 10 fishermen on board, and handed them over to Sagar coastal police. Bapi Pal, one of the fishermen missing from the FB Pallavi trawler, was rescued last night also.
The fishermen’s association claimed that the fate of altogether 13 fishermen of FB Prasenjit-1, 17 of FB Ma Mahagouri, 14 of Dayamoyee, Gangamoyee’s 15 fishermen, 16 of Prasenjit, 14 fishermen of Joybaba Loknath, 14 of Ma Ganga and one fisherman from Pallavi is still unconfirmed.
All the trawlers had gone to sea to catch fish from Kakdwip steamer ghat.
The Coast Guard has been using helicopters and hovercraft in the search operation.
Mr. Manturam Pakhira, the minister for Sunderban development department, meanwhile, said all the trawlers with all the missing fishermen have been located in different parts of the sea by the Coast Guard and they are being rescued.
Nabanna has been monitoring the search operation for the missing trawlers. Govt sources said four trawlers have returned to harbour and one was rescued by the Coast Guard.
One trawler is still untraceable and the state government has urged the South 24-Parganas district administration to expedite search operations.