Kochi, Aug 9 The Indian Navy and Coast Guard today continued their search for the missing crew of a fishing boat which capsized after it was hit by a merchant ship at high seas about 24 nautical miles off Munambam harbour near here.
The fishermen went missing after the boat was hit by the ship on Tuesday. At the time, 14 fishermen were on board the boat.
Three fishermen were killed and two injured in the incident, police had said. The boat had 11 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, two from West Bengal and one from Kerala.
"No missing person has been located as yet," a Defence spokesperson said here.
The spokesperson said the Indian Navy and Coast Guard have pressed into service their ships and aircraft to search and locate the nine missing fishermen of fishing boat 'Oceanic.'
Kerala Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma held a meeting with representatives of civil administration, Navy and Coast Guard last night to review the rescue operation being carried out in the high seas.
According to a government release, the minister said the search operation would continue till the fishermen were traced.
Four ships and three helicopters of the Navy and Coast Guard were continuing their rescue mission, government sources said.
"As regards the search at sea, the navy has recommenced aerial search since morning. An ALH helicopter was sent early in the morning followed by a Dornier aircraft by Coast Guard... besides all the ships in the area since yesterday," the Defence spokesperson said.
During the air search yesterday, a 10-metre capsized boat, identified as 'Al Ma Rahan', was found in the area, a defence release said.
Offshore patrol vessel INS Sunayna, with a full-fledged naval diving team on board, has joined the rescue effort.
Officials of the Mercantile Marine Department, Coastal Police, Forensic Experts and under water surveyors would examine the Indian merchant vessel which allegedly hit the boat. The ship, which fled the scene soon after the incident, was directed by the Navy to anchor at Mangalore coast. PTI TGB SS NSD NSD