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39 fishermen still missing off Goa coast

November 12, 2009 14:51 IST

Two trawlers have sunk off Goa coast and eight others, with 39 crew members, have gone missing in the cyclone-ravaged Arabian Sea. Goa Fisheries Director S C Verenkar on Thursday said the eight trawlers were missing mid-sea, a day after an intense search operation was launched by defence forces to locate them.

According to the local fishermens' society, the two trawlers plying from Mallim jetty sank due to the cyclone. One of the trawlers was carrying 29 crew members, of which only six crew members could be rescued, while 23 are missing mid-sea.

"We are searching for them and all possible resources are being used to trace them," said Menino Afonso, chairman, Mandovi Fisheries Cooperative Society Limited.

Another trawler carrying ten fishermen also capsized mid-sea, but were rescued by nearby boats, Afonso said.

Local fishermen were helping in the mid-sea rescue operations, which were initiated by the Coast Guard and the Navy, as the sea remained calm.

Gusty winds on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning had left 35 trawlers stranded in the sea, of which 24 could be contacted by the evening.

Sensing disturbed weather, the trawlers had rushed to the nearest coasts and had landed in the Konkan belt. Initially, no communication could be established with the trawlers, but they responded later.

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