Thiruvananthapuram: Fourteen Indian fishermen, who were stranded at Salomon Islands –a British Indian Ocean Territory– following the breakdown of their fishing vessel in the sea, were rescued by a British vessel, official sources said here on Monday.
The fishermen were handed over to the Indian Coast Guard off Tamil Nadu coast today, they said.
Sources said the Coast Guard’s station at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram received information from Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (Mumbai) regarding a crew of 14 Indian fishermen rescued by OSV ‘Grampian Endurance’, a multi-purpose offshore vessel, currently sailing under the flag of United Kingdom (UK) from Salomon Islands on December 27.
The Indian fishing boat had sailed out from Thengapattanam fishing harbour in Tamil Nadu on November 27, 2022.
After reaching their fishing area, their boat experienced engine breakdown.
The Indian fishermen with the help of a Sri Lankan fishing boat towed their boat to the nearby land and anchored.
But due to inclement weather, fishermen were not able to sustain themselves in the boat and they took their dinghy and reached Ile Anglaise, Salomon Islands (British Indian Ocean Territory 5 S of Equator), they said.
The stranded fishermen were sighted by offshore support vessel (OSV) Grampian Endurance from the island located in the Indian Ocean. They were rescued and brought near the Indian coast this morning.
When the British vessel passed off Tamil Nadu’s Colachel coast, the Indian fishermen were handed over to the Indian Coast Guard Ship C-441.
ICG ship met OSV Grampian 15 nautical miles away from Colachel and took all fishermen onboard safely. After entering Vizhinjam harbour, all 14 fishermen were taken to the medical room at Coast Guard Station Vizhinjam, they said.