Ahmedabad, Apr 10 (PTI) Four officials of the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) were drowned after their boat capsized near International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) off the Gujarat coast in Arabian sea yesterday while capturing Indian fishing boats, sources said.
Upon learning about the incident, an Indian Coast Guard ship rushed to the IMBL and recovered four bodies of Pakistan crew between late last night and this morning, security officials said.
Yesterday, the National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) had said PMSA had apprehended 42 Indian fishermen and seized seven boats.
According to sources, the Pakistan agency had entered at least 10 nautical miles into the Indian side of IMBL to capture these fishermen and then were headed back.
However, during the operation one of the PMSA boats accidentally collided with an Indian fishing boat following which the Pakistani boat capsized in the mid sea, an official said.
The Indian fishing boat too got damaged and experienced a total breakdown, they said.
Later, PMSA released an Indian fisherman and asked him to head to the Indian coast towing away the damaged boat.
All the other fishermen were taken away.
The fisherman reached the Jakhau coast of Kutch district this afternoon with the help of Coast Guard.
“One fisherman has reached the Coast Guard station at Jakhau with a damaged and a running boat. He was let off by the Pakistani agency mid-sea due to unknown reasons. Both the boats are registered at Okha,” Police Sub Inspector of Jakhau M H Jadeja told PTI.
Sources said the Indian Coast Guard had started its operation in the sea upon learning about the incident late last night and initially recovered two bodies.
They said the Coast Guard handed over the dead bodies of Pakistani crew members to the PMSA today.
Later, Coast Guard found the dead bodies of two more Pakistani crew during a search operation in Indian waters today, said the sources.
Meanwhile, National Fish Workers Forum here said the PMSA has released all the remaining boats and around 40 fishermen tonight.
“We have just learned that around 40 fishermen, who were captured by PMSA yesterday along with their boats, were released by the Pakistani agency, reciprocating the gesture of India Coast Guard to hand over bodies of their marine soldiers,” NFF Secretary Manish Lodhri told PTI.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.