Indian Navy deploys ground, aerial assets to find missing fishermen of IFB Rabah

By Sayan Chatterjee  Published on  19 April 2021 10:45 AM GMT
Indian Navy deploys  ground, aerial assets to find missing fishermen of IFB Rabah

Early last week, it was reported that an Indian fishing boat 'IFB Rabah' with 14 fishermen on board had suffered a collision with a Singapore flag merchant ship 'MV APL Le Havre' 40 nautical miles west of New Mangalore on 13 April.

Indian Naval ships Tillanchang and Kalpeni along with naval aircraft from Goa were deployed in the area to augment SAR efforts of Coast Guard vessels at sea off the coast of Mangalore.

While two rescued fishermen were shifted to safety ashore, three bodies were recovered. The search was on for the remaining nine fishermen. To assist in the rescue efforts INS Subhadra, a patrol vessel, also sailed from Karwar with a diving team. The ship arrived on the scene in the early hours of 14 April.

Two specialist diving teams were undertaking snag line search in the area in an effort to locate the sunken fishing craft. Consolidating the ongoing search and rescue efforts for the missing fishermen at sea off the coast of New Mangalore, the specialized diving support vessel INS Nireekshak was pressed into action by the Indian Navy to undertake deep-sea diving operations using specialized equipment and naval divers on 16 April.

The ship was able to recover three bodies the same day and handed them over to local authorities on 17 April. The ship is continuing with the next phase of underwater search operations in the area to locate the remaining six missing fishermen.

Based on a request from the Tamil Nadu department of fisheries to undertake underwater search operations, Indian Naval ship Nireekshak - a specialized diving support vessel - was also deployed on 15 April to search for the remaining crew likely to be trapped inside the submerged boat (depth in the area approximately 130-200 m).

The diving team embarked onboard the ship had successfully located the sunken boat on 16 April and subsequently recovered three bodies. The naval ship is in the area to continue with the search for the remaining missing fishermen.

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