Hilsa trawler tips over, one dead, three fishermen missing
A trawler drowned and three fishermen disappeared on Saturday night when their vessel, moored at Gangamela ghat on the Hooghly River in Nandigram, east of Midnapore, capsized in a sudden high tide.
The ship’s 14-person crew, Maa Karunamoyee, had moved 14 barrels of diesel, each with a capacity of 200 liters, to fuel the trawler for a new hilsa fishing season starting June 15. Sources said the barrels lost the ship. balanced.
Nine men on board jumped and swam to safety, another was rescued. But the trawler Pradip Manna drowned. Three fishermen, Rupesh Khanra, Kashinath Sheeth and Bistupada Maity, have so far escaped rescue teams.
Civil defense and coastguard personnel were in a hurry in dawn rescue operations on Sunday, but the search for the three missing fishermen was unsuccessful until sunset.
One of the rescuers said the lifeless body of the driver, Manna, was found shortly after the incident. The body was then sent to Contai Divisional Hospital in East Midnapore on Sunday for an autopsy.
District officials said the fishermen, all from Marisda in Contai, were preparing to start fishing, especially hilsa, from Monday evening.
“Each year, June 15 marks the annual end of fishing restrictions which begin in mid-April to allow various breeds of fish, especially hilsa, to spawn,” said a district official.
Sources added that the fishermen were anxiously awaiting June 15, but this time an incident happened before that.
As early as Sunday morning, Haldia’s Deputy Magistrate Kishore Biswas and Nandigram BDO Sumita Sengupta supervised the rescue operations in Kendemari Jalpai, on the shores of which is the Gangamela ghat.
“We have not yet been able to locate the three missing youths, but we are doing our best,” Biswas said.
“At first glance, it seems that the imbalance caused by the diesel barrels may have been a contributing factor (to the capsizing of the vessel),” he added.
Trawlers often stay at sea for several days before returning to shore with their catch, an equation in which the size of the catch must be able to compensate for the amount of fuel expended.
The surviving fishermen of Maa Karunamoyee’s team are upset and anxious.
Survivor Dipak Gyne said most of them started to relax after dinner when a fierce wave hit. “At that point most of the diesel barrels were on the side so we knew immediately we had to jump and swim,” he said. .
Gurupada Sit, another survivor, added: “We had high hopes for 2021 as the last two years have been bad seasons for hilsa, but this (the crash) has been an unimaginable setback.”