A mechanised boat with four fishermen on board that ventured into the sea from the Kottaipattinam fishing jetty in Pudukottai district on Monday has gone missing.
Incidentally, the Sri Lankan Navy said in Colombo that an Indian fishing trawler had sunk off Delft Island or Neduntheevu, located in the Palk Strait, late on Monday night when it was confronted by its patrol units.
Authorities in Tamil Nadu said it is yet to be ascertained if the missing boat and the one that sunk were the same. Coastal Security Group sources in Tamil Nadu said the boat bearing the registration number IND TN 10 MM 0646, with four fishermen hailing from Ramanathapuram district, had set sail along with other mechanised boats.
Those on board were A. Mesiya, 30, of Thangachimadam; V. Nagaraj, 52, of Vattavalam; N. Sam, 28, of Mandapam and S. Senthil Kumar, 32, of Uchipuli.
Three mechanised boats with 12 fishermen, all hailing from Rameswaram, have left to trace the missing boat and fishermen. The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard from Rameswaram were also conducting a search. It is suspected that the boat could have collided with a Sri Lankan Naval craft. However, CSG sources said they were yet to receive confirmed information. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Navy said its patrol units carried out an operation to seize Indian fishing trawlers “poaching” in Sri Lankan waters, “trespassing the IMBL”, late night on Monday. About 50 trawlers were spotted, according to a statement issued by the Sri Lankan Navy.
The trawlers were spotted off Delft Island or Neduntheevu. “When our units tried to apprehend them, one of the trawlers resisted and sank. We have deployed divers to locate the trawler and the fishermen,” Navy spokesman Captain Indika de Silva told The Hindu. “No luck so far,” he said on Tuesday evening.