Coast Guard locates missing boat with 11 fishermen around 370 km from Lakshadweep

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (PTI) The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Wednesday located the fishing boat Mercedes, which was missing since Saturday, around 370 km from Lakshadweep islands and the 11 fishermen on board are safe, an official statement said.

Mercedes had left Thengapattnam fishing harbour in Tamil Nadu on April 6 with these fishermen to go for deep sea fishing for 30 days towards the west of Kerala, the ICG statement stated. Fisheries authorities of Tamil Nadu last Saturday saw the debris of other fishing boats operating in the area, presumed Mercedes to be sunk, and informed the ICG accordingly, it noted.

The ICG began its search and rescue mission for Mercedes last Saturday at a distance of about 1,100 km from Goa, it said.

After four days of continuous search amid challenges of distance from mainland and weather, the missing boat was located around around 370 km from Lakshadweep Islands. 'ICG Dornier located and corroborated presence of the fishing boat today morning. Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Mumbai established communication with the fishing boat on satellite phone held by the boat and ascertained the crew to be safe,' the statement said. The ICG ship on deployment off Lakshadweep was diverted to render logistic and medical assistance to the crew, it said. 'The fishing boat is returning to its base port under escort of ICG ship and would reach around May 3,' it said. PTI DSP ZMN