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Tamil Nadu : Tragedy strikes fishermen off Rameswaram

Chennai/ Rameswaram, Dec 24 () : With 22 fishermen from this coast in the custody of Sri Lankan Navy, four fishermen were feared to have drowned as a mechanized fishing boat sunk in mid-sea off Rameswaram coast this morning.

A group of fishermen in a country boat from Pamban in Rameswaram Island rescued one of the survivors in the wee hours. They spotted M Velu (22) battling for life in mid-sea. He was rescued and brought to the shore at Rameswaram.

Velu stated that he was among five fishermen, hailing from Vazhagiri coastal village near Poompuhar in Nagapattinam district who had put out to sea for fishing on Sunday last in a Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Boat bearing Registration Number TN-06 2021, from Pudupattinam coast in Pattukottai Taluk of Thanjavur district. Due to strong gales, their boat capsized on Monday, he said and revealed that the other four drowned. Of the four deceased, the names of four fishermen were Raj Kumar, Silambu, Chezhian and N.Anjappan (52), owner of the boat.

The officer said Fisheries department has alerted the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Coastal Security Group (CSG) of Tamil Nadu Marine Police about the boat tragedy and sought their assistance to search for the survivors, if any. Velu was admitted to the Government Hospital at Rameswaram. He was very weak, but his condition is stable, he added.

The Rameswaram Island, a comparatively small, 64 sq. mile area lying 3 miles off the coast of Mandapam in the Ramanathapuram district is one of the important fishing centres of South India, fishermen forming the major portion of its population and fishing the main occupation.