[Reader-list] Two die in mid-sea collision off Kochi

T Peter peter.ksmtf at gmail.com
Sun Jun 11 22:45:23 CDT 2017

Two die in mid-sea collision off Kochi

Two persons were killed and one went missing when a merchant vessel rammed
into a fishing boat off the Kochi coast in the early hours of Sunday.

*Though they drifted off the coast, the fishermen didn’t lose hope*


Propped against a wooden door near the engine cabin, Davis was falling into
a doze when the fishing vessel suddenly careened and started taking on

“I just heard a huge roar and all off a sudden, my head hit the water,”
said the 34-year-old, a native of Colachal in Tamil Nadu, from his bed in
the Fort Kochi taluk hospital. “I breathed out and sucked up some seawater
in. I waited for the sea water to rush in and fill the room, and swam out
through a hole to touch the sea surface,” Davis added.

On the surface, Davis could get hold of a broken plank and clung to it like
others for a couple of hours. Shivering from the cold water and rain
beating against them, the men drifted off the coast until they were rescued
by fishermen from other boats. The streak of hope, which lifted him back to
life, did not work for Antony John, alias, Tampi Durai, his maternal uncle,
who died in the accident. But as trying as their experience was, none of
the men are scared of the sea. “ It was shocking as we lost three of our
fellow men. But this is not going to turn us away from the sea, which is
our workplace,” said Britto, who was injured on his left leg.

The accident, according to Charles George, convener of the Matsya
Thozhilali Aikya Vedi, was one of the many reported off the Kochi coast
over the past couple of years. “Kerala has one of the busiest shipping
channels in the country with nearly 1,000 ships plying along the route in
the north-south direction. At the same time, the State has a very big
fishing fleet comprising about 27,000 mechanised boats. The large-scale
presence of these big and small vessels has considerably increased the
possibility of mid-sea collisions,” he said. He said most of the accidents
took place when callous merchant vessels strayed off the shipping channel.
“They often move closer to the coast for bettering cell-phone reception,”
he said.

The National Fishworkers’ Forum urged the State and Central governments to
initiate legal proceedings against the captain and crew of the ship. A
pressnote quoting NFF general secretary T. Peter called for stern action to
ensure that the crew of the ship were put behind bars.

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