BOAT COLLIDES WITH VESSEL AT HIGHSEA OFF VASAI, ONE MISSING

MUMBAI : A fishing boat- Morning Star- carrying 7 fishermen onboard collided with an unknown vessel,presumed to be a tugboat-  15 nautical miles (1 nautical mile = 1.8 km), roughly 70kms, off Vasai coast at around 0115 hours. The Coast Guard will continue to search for the missing person on Monday also, even as till Sunday evening, the person is still reportedly missing. A team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Vasai Gaon police are also assisting the Coast Guard in the search and rescue operation.

A fisherman Dhanaji Koli,secretary,Fishing Association,Bhati Kolidlwada,Mumbai reported the mishap involving the boat-IND-MH-2-MM-5513- identified as Morning Star,reportedly collided with an unknown vessel presumed to be a tugboat. There were 7 fishermen onboard of which one person Baban Pal(42) was thrown off from the boat into the sea and is missing said Deputy Commandant Avinandan,CPRO,Coast Guard.

We have pressed a Charlie (C-439) Interceptor vessel, an Inboard Patrol Vessel and a Chetak helicopter from the INS Shikra, an Indian naval air base station at Colaba, which has done one sortie to rescue the missing person said the official. We will continue the search and rescue operation on Monday,. The Coast Guard rendered first aid to the six rescued fishermen, and the illfated boat has been towed to Madh Island, said the official.

SEA TRAFFIC CORRIDOR OPPOSED

The National Fish Workers' Forum (NFWF), New Delhi, which is a national federation of trade unions and organizations of fishworkers, has opposed the proposed designated corridor for merchant ships at high seas,so as to avoid ship-trawler collission  on the western coast by the Director General of Shipping (DGS),New Delhi.  

The Nautical Adviser in Charge, DGS, has said a concrete traffic separation scheme for the west coast from Gulf of Kutch and the Gulf of Khambat (Gulf of Cambay) down through the coast of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, and Kerala till some some distance beyond Kanya Kumari in Tamil Nadu is proposed and the consultations are in the final stages, said Patil. Till date, the DGS has not consulted any fishing association in this regard, and allegedly have lied to the Union Shipping Ministry, and if the corridor is allowed, the livelihood of scores of small fishermen would be lost, as no trawlers would be allowed to move, as there are chances of colliding with huge merchant navy ships at the midsea, said Patil. The corridor is 20 nautical miles ( 1 nautical mile is 1.8 km) wide and would be located 15 nautical miles away from the nearest coast, and this is the prime fishing area, where marine products thrive and the Ministry would be banning on fishing in the above stretch,said Patil,which is unjust. Though the DGS claim that the corridor will not pass through dense fishing zones, but we are not believing this theory and thus we want the fishing community to be taken into confidence,said T Peter, General Secretary, NFWF.

According to DGS, there has been an increase if mid-sea mishaps, especially along the Kerala coast which has dense fishing activity, and it was decided to create the corridor to avoid such collisions at mid sea.  To this, the NFWF said, the proposal is favouring the big shipping companies and the fishing community would be in the lurch and affecting our livelihood,which we are dependent on fishing,and hence we have pleaded to Gadkari to hear us also, and then decide on the traffic corridor at high seas,said Peter.