In a Joint Search and Rescue Operation, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ships and aircraft rescued 24 distressed fishermen amidst adverse weather conditions off the Kerala coast. The operation was conducted by the ICG, Marine Enforcement Wing and Coastal Security Police in coordination with the Maritime Rescue Sub Centre Kochi.
Due to the inclement weather off the Kerala coast since Sunday, 14 fishing boats with 55 fishermen were reported to be in distress. Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft were pressed in to Search and Rescue (SAR) mission despite rough weather conditions. Timely action in alerting the fishing boats in vicinity resulted in the rescue of 24 fishermen and a lookout is on for the remaining 31 fishermen.
The missing fishing boats are from Ponnani, Kayamkulam, Alappuzha, Munambam and Azhikode harbours of Kerala. Indian Coast Guard Dornier aircraft and Chetak Helicopter alongwith Coast Guard ship ICGS Samar, ICGS Vikram, ICGS Aryaman and interceptor boat C-144 are undertaking extensive sea-air coordinated search at sea.
Further, electronic surveillance of area is being maintained through Coastal Surveillance Network to shepherd fishing boats in area to safer locations and regular weather advisory is also being transmitted. Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (Mumbai) has also alerted all ships in vicinity to maintain lookout and render assistance to the distressed fishing boats.