Seventeen fishermen were injured when the Panama-flagged ship collided with the fishing boat 20 nautical miles off the Coalchil coast on Friday night. Two of the 17 -- Arul Raj (60) and Chinnadurai (50) -- are said to be in serious condition.
Fishermen said that they were sleeping in the boat when the fish collided with it and all of them were thrown off into the sea water. They were rescued by other fishing boats that were fishing in the surrounding waters. Fishermen complained that the Panama-flagged vessel did not stop and was travelling from Singapore to Mumbai.
Charles Johnson, Secretary, Meenvar Orunginaippu Sangam has called upon the authorities to take legal action against the Panama-based ship. While speaking to IANS, Johnson said, "The Panama-flagged ship which caused injury to our fishermen will reach Mumbai on October 25 according to our information. Indian authorities must not allow the ship to leave our shores until legal action is taken against them and to make them pay proper compensation to our fishermen."
The South Asian Fishermen Fraternity (SAFF) General Secretary, Father Churchil also demanded stringent action against the personnel in the foreign ship and called upon the Indian authorities to take immediate action against the foreign vessel for causing grievous injuries to Indian fishermen.
The owner of the boat, Anto Siju while speaking to IANS said that he has lodged a complaint with the Colachel marine police and demanded stringent action against the foreign vessel.
All the 17 people in the boat, 'Sijumon 1' were injured in the collision of which two are grievously injured and admitted to the Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College, Kerala. The duo was rushed to the Medical college in a Coast Guard helicopter.
The remaining 15 injured fishermen have been admitted to the Colachil Government hospital.
J. Rose, a fisherman who was in the boat 'Sijumon 1' told IANS, "We were sleeping in the boat and woke up with the collision and were thrown off all sides. Other fishing boats that were near to us rescued us and informed the Coast Guard who took the grievously injured to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College hospital."