Navy rescues Coast Guards taken hostage by SL fishermen
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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.


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

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