17 fishing boats return; search on for missing vessels, crew

Ch RS Sarma Kakinada | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 22, 2015

At least 20 mechanised fishing boats out of more than 40 missing in the Bay of Bengal since June 16 have reached ashore, and the search for the remaining is still in operation, according to authorities here.

These boats, with over 200 fishermen that went into the sea on June 16 from Kakinada, Uppada and other places in East Godavari district, encountered cyclonic weather. A fisherman is reported to have fallen into the sea from one of the boats but his identity is yet to be disclosed.

For the past five days, a Coast Guard ship and five helicopters belonging to ONGC, Reliance, Coast Guard and Cairn Energy have been pressed into service to trace the missing boats.

On Monday, East Godavari Collector H Arun Kumar said 17 boats had come back and the search was continuing up to 200 nautical miles in the sea. It is suspected that many of the boats may have drifted in the direction of Paradip in Odisha. It is also reported that two of the boats developed engine snags. Due to heavy rains during the last few days in the catchment areas, the Godavari and its tributaries such as Sabari, Vashista and Gowthami are in spate and 18 villages in the two Godavari districts have been cut off, according to authorities.

At the Dowalaiswaram barrage near Rajahmundry, 6.1 lakh cusecs of Godavari floodwaters were released into the sea, and it is expected that the flood situation may ease by Tuesday evening, according to irrigation authorities.

Many rivulets in East Godavari are in spate and the authorities are on the alert.

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Published on June 22, 2015
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