A group of 20 Bangladeshi fishermen, who had fought marauding sea, hunger for a fortnight and miraculously escaped from the claws of death on 27 December, were repatriated to the neighbouring country by the Coast Guard on Sunday.
The marine fishermen, who had undertaken the sea voyage on 7 December from the Bangladesh coast, had gone without food for a week during the course of the worst nightmare of their life after the fishing vessel had developed a technical snag and was rendered unfit to move ahead. Local fishermen along the Astatrang coast in Puri district had towed them to safety.
Indian Coast Guard Ship Sarojini Naidu undertook successful repatriation of one Bangladeshi Fishing Boat ‘AllaharDaan’ along with 20 Bangladeshi fishermen at Indo-Bangladesh International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), said coast guard personnel.
The incident highlights the importance given by Indian fishermen to help mariners/ fishermen at sea in distress irrespective of nationality thereby forming an important link in ensuring the safety of life at sea. Indian Coast Guard in coordination with Marine Police at Paradip provided shelter to the boat and its crew on humanitarian grounds. The crews were reported to be safe and healthy, they said.
The fishing craft along with 20 fishermen was formally handed over by ICGS Sarojini Naidu to Bangladesh Coast Guard Ship Shadhin Bangla at IMBL on Sunday.
Such operations highlight the coordinated response between Coast Guard agencies of India and Bangladesh demonstrating mutual commitment for the safety of fishermen at sea and further strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries, the Coast Guard said in an official statement.