The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Wednesday said 224 distressed fishermen had been rescued from the Arabian Sea, where the weather is rough, following a low pressure area that is set to develop into Cyclone Pawan.
Coast Guard Region (West) operation centre in Mumbai had on November 30, issued a rough weather warning off the central/south-eastern Arabian Sea and initiated action as per its standard operating procedure, which includes issuing advisories to coastal States.
Thus, the Kerala government enforced a two-day ban on fishing on December 2 and 3 and the Lakshadweep administration issued a prohibition order restricting fishing boats from venturing out to sea and suspended inter-island high-speed craft services. The Coast Guard ships/aircraft and Remote Operating Centres continued transmitting safety messages for mariners at sea.
Coast Guard officials said on December 3, the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Mumbai received a message from the fisheries authority at Colachel, in Tamil Nadu, intimating about the distress of 50 stranded fishing boats at a distance of 250 nautical miles west of Goa. The Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre activated the International Safety Net immediately and two merchant vessels transiting through the area responded. They were requested to provide assistance to the distressed fishing boats till the arrival of ICG ships, said Commandant R.K. Singh, public relations officer, Coast Guard Region (West).
As a result, Indian merchant vessel (MV) Navdhenu Purna rescued 15 fishermen and a Japanese flag vessel, MV Towada, rescued around 22 . On the request of the Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, three more merchant vessels joined the operation and 224 fishermen were rescued. The survivors are being provided food and first-aid. All of them are reported to be healthy. Indian Coast Guard ships Samudra Prahari, Samar, Savitribai Phule, Amal and Apoorva are augmenting the rescue operation at sea with Coast Guard Dornier aircraft for sea-air coordinated operations, Commandant Singh said.