The Navy on Saturday announced that it has rescued 36 fishermen stranded in high seas off the coast of Tamil Nadu in the Bay of Bengal. After suspected trouble with engine stalled their boats mid-sea, the fishermen had been adrift for over two days, in challenging weather conditions, at the mercy of the elements. INS Khanjar, engaged in patrolling duties in the Bay of Bengal, detected the three distressed boats adrift in rough seas.
After immediate assistance by way of provisions, the warship towed the boats for over 30 hours, safely bringing them alongside in Chennai harbour.
"Indian Naval Ship Khanjar, Mission Deployed in the Bay of Bengal, has safely brought back 36 Indian fishermen who were stranded 130 nautical miles from the Tamil Nadu coast," said Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal.
"The fishermen were onboard three fishing vessels, which were towed by INS Khanjar for more than 30 hours in challenging sea conditions," he added.
It detected three fishing vessels -- Sabarainathan, Kalaivani and V Sami -- approximately 130 nm from the Tamil Nadu coast.
"The vessels with 36 fishermen onboard were from Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu. They had been stranded at sea for over two days due to rough weather conditions, without fuel, provisions and engine breakdown," said Commander Madhwal said.
He also said the ship supplied the fishing vessels with the necessary provisions and towed them for more than 30 hours, ensuring their safe return to the Chennai harbour on Friday.
Earlier, a research vessel belonging to the Government of India was stranded between Goa and Karwar after encountering technical issues. Reportedly, the research team consisted of 28 crew members and eight scientists. As soon as the Indian Coast Guard team was alerted, they reached the spot and rescued those stranded. The incident took place on July 26. They all were brought back to towards Goa harbour.
(With PTI inputs)