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Three killed as ship rams boat off Kerala coast
By AM Abdussalam August 08, 2018
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KOCHI: A merchant ship rammed a fishing boat off Kerala coast, leaving at least three fishermen dead, two injured and nine missing on Tuesday, according to police.

The collision took place about 24 nautical miles off the coast of Munambam, near here on Tuesday around 3.30am. The deceased were identified as Yuganathan, 45, Manakudi, 50, and Yakub, 57, from Colachel and Ramanthurai in Kanyakumari district of neighbouring Tamil Nadu state. The bodies have been recovered and shifted to hospital mortuary. Nine people, including Shiju from Munambam in Ernakulam, were reported missing. There were 14 people including 11 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and two from West Bengal on board, Oceana, from Munambam. The boat was completely destroyed in the collision. Two fishermen were rescued after the accident and they have been admitted to the Government General Hospital in Ernakulam.

The ship involved in the mishap is yet to be identified, according to some reports. A Dornier aircraft is being deployed to identify the merchant ships that were in the area at the time of the collision.

A rescue operation has been launched for those missing. Navy has diverted a Sea King helicopter to the area for search and rescue of survivors. One Dornier aircraft has also been launched for searching the entire area. “INS Jamuna’’, a hydrographic survey ship of the Navy has also proceeded to the area for search and rescue operations. One Advanced Light Helicopter is also kept on standby for deployment. The Indian Coast Guard has diverted an interceptor boat and a ship to the area in addition to a helicopter. Over 40 private boats have also joined rescue operation in the sea.

The Indian boat, owned by PV Sivan, had left the Munambam Port late on Monday for a fishing in the high seas. According to unconfirmed reports, the ship involved in the accident is identified as MV Desh Shakti, a ship based in Mumbai. The ship was sailing from Chennai to Basra in Iraq.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed district Collector to initiate action to identify the ship and coordinate rescue operations. In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the chief minister said that attempts to rescue the remaining people in the boat and to identify the ship were going on with the help of navy and coastguard.

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