Rameswaram: Sixteen people,
including 10 women drowned when their boat capsized in
the sea near Vazhai Theevu island in the Gulf of Mannar, off
Periyapattinam coast, police said.
The victims included an Australian NRI woman, who came
here to attend a marriage, police said.
The victims, hailing from the fishermen colony of
Periyapattinam village, were on a picnic between Rameswaram
and Tuticorin in a boat fitted with engine when the mishap
occurred, Marine Police DSP Thiagarajan said.
It was not known immediately how many people were
travelling in the boat though it was permitted to carry upto
seven passengers only.
Preliminary reports said the boat carried more than 20
people, he said.
A top official of the Indian Coastguard said that
rescue and search operations by naval helicopter and Coast
Guard`s hover crafts and Marine Police were going on as there
were different versions about the number of passengers.
People from the village had proceeded in two boats,
one of which capsized, Thiragarajan said.
The boats were owned by Abyub Khan and Rasool Khan and
they were not licensed to carry people.