Jayakumar says the govt. has sought the help of navy, Coast Guard

Families of 10 fishermen, who have gone missing since they ventured into the sea on July 23, staged a protest at Kasimedu on Wednesday, demanding that the State government launch a search for them.

The fishermen last communicated with the families on July 24. The families complained to the Fisheries Department on August 7 when the fishermen were expected to have returned.

“There had been no information from the boat after that. It is a three-year-old 75-feet boat. The boat’s engine might have had some fault and batteries run out. We have provided the Coast Guard with maps and charts to how the boat might have drifted. With the help of experts we have calculated that the boat might be anywhere between Kakinada and Paradeep. If a proper search is done they can be rescued. They have enough rations to last only till tomorrow,” said V. Balaji, boat owner.

Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar told the protesters that the government had requested the Coast Guard and the Navy to search for the men. The government has also written to other States and the Centre, he added.

“We have written to other States and through the Centre to neighbouring countries. All the tracking equipment on the boat have been switched off,” he said.

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