Thottappally, March 1 (ANI): An unknown merchant vessel collided with a fishing boat off Kerala's Alappuzha Coast, drowning at least five fishermen, early on Thursday morning. Two bodies have been recovered so far, while two have been rescued.
Search and rescue operations by coast guard and the navy is still on to find the remaining three fishermen. Attempts are also being made to track the unknown vessel.
The mishap occurred at around 3 a. m., between Cherthalla and Alappuzha, 24 nautical miles off the coast.
According to a defence press notification, a massive search and rescue operation by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard has been initiated.
Four ships and a Dornier aircraft at sea off the Manakkodam Light House in Alleppey District have been deployed for the operation.
The INS Sarvekshak from the Southern Naval Command and the Indian Coast Guard Ship Savitribai Phule, which were at sea were diverted to the area, while the Coast Guard interceptor boats from Kochi and Vizhinjam have also sailed out to augment search and rescue efforts. A Coast Guard Dornier aircraft was also launched early this morning.
The two injured fishermen have been admitted to a local hospital, while the recovered bodies have been sent to the Alappuzha Medical College Hospital for postmortem.
The ill fated boat with seven fishermen had ventured out from Kollam's Needakara Harbour on Sunday and was supposed to be back at the coast by noon today. (ANI)
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