Coast Guard fires at suspect boat off Kerala coast, two fishermen hurt

Two fishermen were injured when Coast Guard personnel onboard a patrol vessel fired 'warning shots' at their boat after it took 'evasive' action on being directed to stop, giving rise to suspicion, off Vizhinjam coast near here on Monday.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 13, 2015, 00:51 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Two fishermen were injured when Coast Guard personnel onboard a patrol vessel fired 'warning shots' at their boat after it took 'evasive' action on being directed to stop, giving rise to suspicion, off Vizhinjam coast near here on Monday.

The fishermen from Tamil Nadu suffered 'minor' injuries when warning shots fired across the boat's bows 'ricocheted' and had been admitted to Medical College Hospital here after first aid by Coast Guard, a CG statement said tonight.

The condition of the fishermen identified by police as Subin (20) and Clinton (23) from Thuckalai in Kanyakumari District was stated to be 'stable', it said.

The boat along with seven others onboard had been handed over to Vizhinjam coastal police as it did not have any valid registration papers and identity cards for the crew.

According to the release, the boat 'Rishika', which set sail from Tuticorin in neighbouring Tamil Nadu yesterday, was asked by Coast Guard to stop for routine investigation. However, it increased speed and started fleeing.

"The Coast Guard initially tried to stop the boat by using loud hailer and VHF channel-16. Thereafter, signal flares were fired to stop the boat. However the boat did not stop and continued to take evasive actions. This increased the suspicion and as per standard procedures warning shots was fired across the bows of the fishing boat," it said.

Investigation revealed that the boat was not in possession of any valid registration papers and identity cards for the crew, the release said.

The owner of the boat, Jasmin George, said in Kollam that the boat crew might have failed to recognise the signals sent out by the patrolling vessel as they had been tired after fishing for the last several days.