Death toll in Munambam ship-boat collision rises to five

Kochi: The body of one more fisherman who went missing when a vessel hit their fishing boat in the high seas nearly a week ago was recovered last evening, a Defence spokesman said here today.

With this the number of fishermen who died in the incident has risen to five. A total of nine fishermen had gone missing after the incident on 7 August.

The body of another missing fisherman was recovered on 11 August. The spokesman said the body recovered yesterday was brought to the Munambam harbour near here.

Relatives of the fisherman have have identified the body. It was taken to Ernakulam General Hospital for further procedures. Search is on to trace seven other missing fishermen, the spokesperson said.

Vessels of the Navy and Coast Guard and fishing boats are continuing to search for the missing fishermen. The fishermen went missing when their boat capsized after being hit by a ship about 24 nautical miles off Munambam harbour near here on 7 August.

At the time, 14 fishermen were on board the boat. Bodies of three fishermen killed were brought to the shore on Tuesday last while two fishermen, injured in the incident, were admitted to hospital, police had said.

The boat had 11 fishermen from Tamilnadu, two from West Bengal and one from Kerala. The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have engaged their ships and aircraft to search and locate the missing fishermen of the ‘Oceanic.’

The state government had said the search operation would continue till the fishermen were traced. Officials of the Mercantile Marine Department, Coastal Police, Forensic Experts and underwater surveyors are continuing probe to identify the vessel that allegedly hit the boat.

An Indian merchant ship has been directed by the Navy to anchor at Mangaluru coast.