Over 200 fishing vessels go missing

Indian Coast Guard has also been roped in for search operations
Chennai: Rescue and search teams from Coastal Security Group and Coast Guard are searching for more than 200 fishing vessels, including boats and catamarans, anchored near Silver Beach at Devanampatinam in Cuddalore, which reportedly disappeared into sea during flash floods in Gadilam river mouth on Tuesday.
“Nearly 120 fishermen said hat their fishing boats had vanished into the sea. Though their claims are subject to verification, we are searching for missing vessels. We could trace only a few. It is possible that other boats sank in the sea,” said Dr
C. Sylendra Badu, ADGP, Coastal Security Group. The search parties could locate only six boats from the sea.
“Only after enumeration, we can say exactly how many boats had gone missing. Our inspectors along with police and other search teams have been conducting searches in the sea for the last two days. Searches were conducted in areas suggested by the fishermen, but it turned out to be futile,” said Dr S. Vijaya Kumar, secretary, fisheries department when this newspaper contacted him.
Indian Coast Guard has also been roped in for search operations. A Dornier aircraft is available for search operation. “But unless we tell the location, search will not happen. Because of heavy inflow of water the river mouth is muddy and visibility is less,” said another officer from fisheries department.
All the missing boats were anchored near Silver beach and there were no reports about missing fishermen.
When contacted Vadivelu, a representative of fishermen association, said more than 80 boats, nearly 150 catamarans were missing and more than 400 fishing vessels were damaged in Monday’s heavy rains and floods.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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