6 fishermen rescued, 25 still missing
Kolkata: Three fishing trawlers went down and another is said to be missing in the Bay of Bengal due to bad weather late on Sunday night. Till news last came in, six fishermen were rescued in a joint search operation conducted by the Indian and Bangladesh Coast Guard and 25 are still missing.
According to sources, despite warnings by the MeT office, 61 fishermen in six separate fishing trawlers started from Namkhana and went to the deep sea for fishing on Saturday.
On Sunday, the fishermen experienced poor weather conditions and tried to return to the coast. But due to the stormy weather, the trawlers are suspected to have lost their course and drifted towards Bangladesh waters. Near the Hanri Bhanga chaar, the trawlers went down in the sea during a heavy storm.
Late on Sunday night, the weather condition turned worse and due to heavy winds, three trawlers went down in the sea. Fishermen in the other two trawlers were able to rescue 34 fishermen. Following this, two other trawlers which managed to float sent a distress signal to the West Bengal Fishermen Association and informed about the situation. They had also informed that one of the trawlers had developed technical snag and got stranded in the sea.
The association got in touch with Sundarban Development minister Manturam Pakhira and the South 24-Parganas district authorities to launch a rescue operation soon.
The Indian Coast Guard contacted the Bangladesh Coast Guard requesting a search operation. Later a joint rescue operation was conducted by both the country's Coast Guards and six fishermen were rescued.
Till Monday night, 25 fishermen are said to be still missing. Pakhira on Monday stated that the state government is keeping an eye on the situation and is constantly in touch with the Bangladesh government.
The Coast Guards of India and Bangladesh have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) followed by a 'Standard Operating Procedure' for helping each other during such incidents and making waters of the Bay of Bengal safe.