Ship that hit fishing boat identified

Representative image

Kochi: Investigating agencies have identified the vessel that allegedly slammed into a fishing boat off the coast here last week killing some fishermen on board.

A joint probe by various agencies, including the Mercantile marine department and coastal police, has identified MV Desh Shakti as the ship that had hit the boat, MMD principal officer-cum-joint director, Ajith Kumar Sukumaran, said.

The ship was anchored off Mangaluru coast after it was directed by the Navy which traced it last week. The initial probe had suggested the Indian ship’s alleged involvement in the incident.

Later, a scientific probe to establish the ship’s involvement was conducted by officials of the Mercantile Marine Department, Coastal Police, Forensic Experts and underwater surveyors, the official said.

“We have received a report from the probe team that it was M V Desh Shakti that had hit the fishing boat,” he sad.

Five fishermen were killed and two injured in the incident that occurred on 7 August. A search is on to trace seven other fishermen who are still missing.

Meanwhile, the Navy said it has engaged its surface and air assets in the area to locate the wreck and missing fishermen.

“The likely wreck of the damaged fishing vessel Oceanic has been located by INS Sutlej in the area,” it said in a release here. The search effort has been further augmented by deployment of INS Nireekshak yesterday, it said.

Notwithstanding the difficult circumstances due to the monsoon fury and depth of 75-metres reported in the area, attempts would be made to ascertain presence of bodies of missing fishermen in the likely wreck with remote operated vehicle, the release added.