All missing trawlers traced

The Coastguard on Saturday traced all the 33 trawlers with 550 fishermen on board.

Last Updated: Jun 18, 2011, 22:43 PM IST

Kolkata: The Coastguard on Saturday traced all the 33 trawlers with 550 fishermen on board which went missing in the Bay of Bengal since Thursday night following heavy rains.

However, Sundarbans Fishermen Association secretary Bijon Maity and chairman Subhas Sarkar said three other trawlers with 48 on board were still missing.

The fishing vessels were found from Kendo creek and from near Bangladesh waters after radio communication with them was restored, South 24 Parganas District Magistrate NS Nigam said.

The Coastguard, which deployed a hovercraft, rescued the fishermen some of whom had fallen ill, Nigam said.

Three of the trawlers, with 38 fishermen on board, were being taken to Paradip in neighbouring Orissa by the Coastguard, the district magistrate said.

Caught in heavy rain and gusty winds, most of the 33 trawlers were blown off course towards the Bangladesh territorial waters, Nigam said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had yesterday said the Bangladesh government had been urged to coordinate in the rescue operations.

Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting CM Jatua and Sunderbans Development Minister Shyamal Mondal camped at Kakdwip to monitor operations.

PTI