Navy rescues Coast Guards taken hostage by SL fishermen

Last Updated: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 00:20

New Delhi: Two sailors of Indian Coast
Guard were taken hostage by three Sri Lankan fishermen on
Wednesday night in the Bay of Bengal, prompting an operation
by Indian Navy which rescued them today after more than 36
hours.

The sailors, armed with sten-guns, were overpowered by
the fishermen carrying knives when the latter were being
escorted to Vishakhapatnam on being detected in Indian waters
on December 8.
The fishermen and the sailors were in vessel `Win
Marine`, which was one of seven Sri Lankan fishing boats
intercepted by the Coast Guard ships `Priyadarshini` and
`Sarang` while fishing.

While being escorted to Vishakhapatnam, the two
sailors, who were overpowered, and the vessel `Win Marine`
broke away from the cordon of Coast Guard ships, Navy PRO
Commander P V Satish said.
The Indian Navy intervened, pressing three warships and
a dornier reconnaissance aircraft into the operation to track
`Win Marine` and rescue the sailors.

After a 36-hour joint operation of Navy and Coast
Guard, the fishing vessel was found this afternoon around 200
nautical miles east of Chennai, within Indian Exclusive
Economic Zone (EEZ), Satish said.

Finding themselves cornered, the fishermen released the
sailors unharmed. Sri Lankan Navy was also roped in to make
the fishermen free their hostages, Navy sources said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 00:20

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