Srikakulam: Three fishermen drowned and died when their country-made boat capsized in the sea off the coast of Bhandaruvanipeta under Gara police station limits in Srikakulam district in the wee hours of Saturday. The rough sea weather was the reason for the fatal incident.

The police have identified the deceased as Pukkala Yerayya (27), his father Pukkalla Gannaya (50), and Rayathi Narayana Swamy (55).

The police said the three fishermen, who were from Bhandaruvanipeta village, went fishing in their boat on Saturday morning. While trying to sail through the high-tide area to go deep into the sea, they lost control over the boat due to strong currents and it turned upside down. Though they tried to swim ashore, their efforts proved futile as they were caught in the strong current and failed to reach the shore and drowned.

The Gara police and local fishermen launched a search operation. The police said bodies of two fishermen were washed ashore near Gullavanipalem under Polaki police station limits in the district and body of Yerayya was washed ashore near Matsyalesham coast.

A case has been registered under Section 174 of CrPC (unnatural deaths). The bodies have been shifted to the government hospital for postmortem. A pall of gloom has descended at Bhandaruvanipeta village.

Animal husbandry and fisheries minister Sidiri Appalaraju on Saturday spoke to the family members of the deceased and the officials of the district administration. The minister assured that the state government will take steps to provide financial assistance and support to the families of the dead men.

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