Thiruvananthapuram: Navy and Coast Guard intensified search operations for missing fishers across Kerala coast and brought more than 60 men ashore on Monday. Some 92 including 56 from Poonthura and 22 from Beypore are still missing. Those who were rescued by Navy off Lakshadweep included 11 from Thiruvananthapuram. Coast Guard rescued 12 belonging to Kolachal from Ponnani.
The fishermen from Thiruvananthapuram, belonging to Pozhiyoor, Vizhinjam and Valiyathura, were brought to Kochi in INS Kalpeni. Meanwhile, search and rescue operations entered the fifth day with the fishers accompanying Coast Guard and Navy at some places. Earlier defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman had asked them to allow fishers who were willing to join search operations. Eight helicopters and ten warships were involved in search operations. Sources said navy and airforce are planning to carry out major search operations from Kochi. During the past four days, the defence forces had carried out massive searches in a 150-km stretch from Kanyakumari to Thiruvananthapuram and saved many lives.
The government, meanwhile, decided to grant Rs 2500 each to those stranded in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat. Steps are underway to bring them back. Those currently lodged at Devgarh port in Maharashtra will return on December 6. Efforts on to bring back 33 men from Ratnagiri. According to information received here, Coast Guard has brought 512 fishers ashore at Veraval in Gujarat. They include those from Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts, and officials are getting in touch with their Gujarat counterparts to make arrangements for their return.