Lankan fishers rescued by Indian fishermen
Four Tamil-speaking Muslim fishermen from Sri Lanka's Eastern
Province, whose mechanised boat went adrift after running out of fuel,
were rescued by a group of fishermen from Colachel in Kanyakumari
district in India and brought ashore.
The district administration is making preliminary efforts to
repatriate the Lankans, now kept in a local hotel, under police
Hailing from Ampara district in the Eastern province, the fishermen -
Naib (36), Abdul Rahim (58), Mohamed Ismail Leboy (52) and Basheer (40)
- had put out to sea from the Kalmunai fishing harbour on January 9 with
a plan of returning by January 13 or 14, little realising that fuel has
been pilfered from the tank of their 30-feet long boat.
After they ran adrift, on January 18, they sought help from a passing
merchant vessel, whose mariners gave some loaves of bread and water and
then informed the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) of the fishing vessel spotted
about 80 nautical miles off the Kanyakumari coast.
The ICG, without realising that it was a foreign vessel, alerted the
district fisheries department, whose officials made enquiries and found
that no local boat had gone missing.
On January 24, Ranjith (35), a fisherman from Vaniyakudi near
Colachel. Spotted the boat some 40 nautical miles from Manapadu coast in
Tirunelveli district while returning after a deep sea fishing expedition
with his team and brought the Lankans to Colachel on January 25. - IBN