4 TN fishermen rescued after boat mishap, detained by Lankan Navy

Rameswaram: Four Tamil Nadu fishermen were rescued and detained by the Sri Lankan Navy while struggling in the sea near Katchatheevu islet after their boat was destroyed on hitting a rock, a fishermen association leader said on Sunday.

The four from nearby Mandapam were part of a over 1,000 fishermen who put out to sea from here on Saturday and their fibre boat got drifted in strong wind while fishing near Katchatheevu, Tamil Nadu Coastal Mechanised Fishermen Association president P Sesuraja said.

The boat rammed into a rock and broke into two pieces following which the fishermen were struggling to stay afloat in the rough sea when the Lankan Naval personnel on patrol spotted and rescued them.

As they were found in the Lankan territorial waters, the four fishermen were detained and taken to Kankesanthurai port, Sesuraja said, quoting information received by him. In another incident, the Coastal Security Group police personnel recovered 500 kg of live sea cucumber, meant for being smuggled to Sri Lanka, from a stationary boat and arrested two occupants, hailing from Mandapam.

The sea cucumbers were handed over to Forest personnel, who released them into sea, officials said.

An endangered marine species, the sea cucumbers are covered under the Wildlife Protection Act and their harvest is banned. They are demand in Sri Lanka and other countries for medicinal purpose among others.