Two killed as cargo vessel hits fishing boat off Kerala

The government has announced a compensation of ₹2,00,000 each for the families of the three fishermen who were killed when their boat was rammed by a ship off the Kochi coast. "Another fishing boat came and rescued us", said a fisherman, who was being treated at a hospital here. The rest 11 were rescued by occupants of another fishing boat, averting a major tragedy. The 11 injured fishermen were admitted to two hospitals in Kochi and the condition of two of them was stated to be serious. The missing fisherman is said to be from Uttar Pradesh.

The enforcement agencies including Coastal Police, Coast Guard and Navy zeroed in on the vessel after they were alerted by the rescuing fishermen. According to the police, fishing boat Carmel Matha, owned by Nazer of Palluruthi near Kochi, was anchored in mid-sea when it was hit by the ship, Amber, about 16 nautical miles from the Kochi coast around 2 am on Sunday. It is understood that the ship's lights were off at the time of the accident and it tried to sail off from the Kochi coast soon after the collision. The survivors swam and stayed afloat for nearly two hours before another boat, St Antony, rescued them. "A case under section of culpable homicide will be registered against the officials of the ship", said Dinesh. Additional DGP Tomin Thachankery, in charge of Coastal Police, said the ship had violated essential laws by fleeing the accident scene. "The location of the mishap and whether it took place within the territorial waters or the contiguous zone can be ascertained only after looking at scientific evidence, " he said.

Amber L was detained in the outer sea and the Kochi Police and State Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma said that a case would be registered against the ship's captain and others. In January 2012, two fishermen were shot dead in unprovoked firing from an Italian ship.

  • Salvatore Jensen