Frazerganj: At least 19 fishermen have gone missing after their trawlers capsized in the Bay of Bengal, off Frazerganj in the Sundarban area of south Bengal, officials said on Tuesday.
Three trawlers capsized in the rough seas around 4 pm yesterday and 47 fishermen fell into the water, they said. Of them, 28 were rescued by other trawlers, while there has been no trace of the 19 others despite a day long search, the officials said.
A hovercraft and an airplane of the Coast Guard have been pressed into service to look for the missing persons. A motor launch of the police and trawlers of a fishermen’s association have also gone out into the sea for the rescue operation, Sunderban Superintendent of Police Tathagata Basu said.
However, none of the 19 missing persons was found, though the rescuers spotted the wreckage of one of the capsized vessels, MV Malleshwar, near Kendo island, officials said.
The rescue operation has been suspended after sundown and it would be resumed tomorrow, they said.
Secretary West Bengal United Fishermen Association Bijan Maity said six to seven trawlers carrying men from Namkhana and Kakdwip areas of South 24 Parganas district, set sail around 10 am yesterday as there was “no Met department warnings on radio”.
The Met office website, however, shows that West Bengal fishermen were advised against venturing into the sea yesterday.