A collision incident has been reported to the Directorate General of Shipping, under Ministry of Shipping, involving a fishing boat "OCEANIC", registered in Kerala and an unknown merchant vessel. The date, time and position of the casualty was reported as 7th August 2018, 03:30 am (IST) and 10 deg 24 mins N, 075 deg 38 mins E respectively. As per the latest information received, there were 14 Indian fishermen in the fishing boat at the time of this casualty, of which 3 are dead, 2 injured/hospitalized and the remaining 9 fishermen are missing.
Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, has expressed deepest condolences to the families of the deceased fishermen. Massive search and rescue mission is under progress with the deployment of 3 Air Crafts and 3 ships by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. It is also understood that many fishing boats (about 40 numbers) are also involved in voluntary search operations and is highly appreciated.
This casualty has occurred off Chettuva, Ernakulam, Kerala in the West Coast of India. The Directorate has been digitally analyzing and retrieving positions of all the merchant ships that have transited around the reported location about the time of this incident with the help of our internal mechanisms and resources. Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has also examined vessel traffic of the reported incident and time. Accordingly, two vessels were found to be in the closest proximity of the reported casualty and have been advised not leave Indian waters till further orders. Further, possibility of involvement of two more merchant vessels has not been ruled out at this stage, since position and time of the incident needs to be confirmed.
The Investigation team from DG Shipping, has started the process of inquiry and is constantly coordinating with other agencies, including the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard, Coastal Police and the Kerala State Government. Two teams of professional investigators from Kochi and Mumbai/ DG Shipping have been engaged in physical inspection of the suspected vessels for collecting other corroborating evidence.