Thiruvananthapuram: Cost Guard on Thursday rescued three Kerala fishermen, drifting in deep sea for the past four days without food and water after their country craft overturned accidentally off the state coast.
The fishermen managed to climb on top of the 'vallom' (traditional country craft) and were drifting after it overturned in a sudden rush of waves when a merchant vessel passed nearby about 70 km off Poovar near here, Coastal police and Coast Guard said.
On information this morning from a merchant vessel about the sighting of the craft, a coastguard ship which was already in search of them and a Dornier aircraft were sent to the area for coordinated search and the fishermen were located and brought to the shore this evening, a Coast Guard release said.
According to police, Joey Lopez (48), Soosapakiyam (58) and Peter (62) had put out to sea from nearby Vizhinjam on July 12 evening.
When they were about 40 nautical miles off the coast, a merchant vessel passed nearby in the wee hours of the following day and in the sudden rush of waves the craft overturned, throwing the trio into waters.
However, they managed to climb on top of the overturned craft and were drifting. They called out for help to several passing vessels, but apparently none saw them, police said.
The Coast Guard release said they had received information of the missing fishermen from Thiruvananthapuram Collector on July 14 and immediately a search was launched.
A coast guard ship and aircraft from Kochi and marine enforcement boats were pressed into service. Another CG ship from Kochi, on routine surveillance off Kerala coast, was also diverted for the search.
Coast Guard Maritime Coordination Centre (Mumbai) activated International Safety Net which passes information to all merchant ships passing through the area to provide necessary assistance.
This morning, Coast Guard authorities received information from a merchant vessel "M V Smyrni" on the sighting of the three fishermen over a capsized craft off Poovar coast.