Navy identifies foreign ship that hit fishing boat
Thiruvananthapuram: The cargo ship that hit a fishing boat off the Kerala coast was "most likely" a Hong Kong-registered vessel and it would be asked to berth at a nearby Indian port for further investigation, the Navy said on Sunday.
The ship is now in international waters, about 400 nautical miles away from Kochi, a Navy spokesperson said, a day after the incident which left the boat totally damaged.
Six fishermen on board were, however, rescued by nearby boats.
"The ship involved has been identified most likely to be Ksl Ang Yang, registered at Hong Kong, and it is heading southward," the spokesperson said.
As the ship is now much beyond the range of Dornier aircraft, long-range surveillance aircraft P8I would be used to divert it to the Indian coast. Since this involved flying over the Sri Lankan air space, permission of the neighbouring country had been obtained, the spokesperson added.
Besides, a naval ship from Port Blair was being deployed to move it to the Andaman Nicobar islands capital if it was reluctant to turn back towards Kochi.
If the ship failed to cooperate, it would have to be handled as a "legal case involving the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)", the spokesperson said.
The fishing boat was hit by the cargo vessel, about 40 nautical miles from Kollam, in international waters, on Saturday.
All the six fishermen, one Keralite and five from Tamil Nadu, on board the boat were rescued by other boats nearby and brought to the shore safely.
The boat involved in the incident has also been brought to the Neendakara fishing harbour in Kollam district.
The incident came close on the heels of two fishermen being killed and 11 others getting injured when a Panama- registered cargo ship hit their fishing boat off the Kochi coast on June 11. Kerala had also witnessed another fatal incident involving a foreign ship in February 2012 when two Indian fishermen from the state were shot dead by two Italian Marines on board an oil tanker.