Coast Guard rescues seven Sri Lankan fishermen

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Port Blair, Oct 8 (UNI) In all, seven members of a Sri Lankan fishing boat were rescued by Coast Guard ship Bhikhaji Cama after well-coordinated sea-air operation.

Bhikhaji Cama reached Port Blair yesterday with all seven rescued fishermen and their fishing boat.

''All of them are safe and in good health'', Commandant Akshay Jain, PRO, Andaman and Nicobar region, Coast Guard told UNI here today.

These fishermen drifted about 295 miles North West of Port Blair for five days in the Bay of Bengal due to engine failure of their fishing boat.

A rescue operation was coordinated under overall supervision of Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Port Blair, after it recieved a message from Sri Lankan High Commission, Chennai in the afternoon on October 3.

The Coast Guard team immediately swung into action after calculating the approximate position of the vessel considering last reported position, wind and tide conditions.

A Coast Guard Dornier aircraft was also launched in the early morning on October 4 to locate the fishing vessel, Mr Jain said.

Initial attempts to repair the boat did not yield result due to non-availability of few critical spare parts then it was decided to tow the vessel to Port Blair for repairs, the Coast Guard Commandant added.

UNI SKR RH KK HS1655

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