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Maharashtra: 6 drown as trawler hits ship

March 31, 2006 15:24 IST

Six persons were feared drowned and two were rescued when a fishing trawler capsized after hitting a ship off Vengurla coast in Maharashtra, Coast Guard officials said Friday.

"Two crew members had been floating on a wooden plank for almost 24 hours and were rescued by another fishing trawler," the officials said.

The trawler 'Sea Master' had left Malim jetty in Panaji on March 29 evening and met with an accident early Thursday.

With no communication equipment available with the trawler, the authorities were unaware of the accident till Friday morning, sources said.

"As soon as we came to know of the incident, the rescue helicopters and boats were pressed into service," the Coast Guard officials said.

"The possibility of six crew members surviving is rare. We came to know about the incident only Friday morning," stated Victor Gonsalves, chairman, Mandovi Fishermen Marketing Cooperative Society, which covers 261 trawlers at Malim jetty.

One of the two survivors, Manjunath Basappa (25) from the copper district of Karnataka, said all those who were sleeping in the basement of the trawler drowned as it sunk.

Manjunath said a big steamer-like ship hit the trawler and the trawler immediately capsized. He and his colleague Ranjit from Orissa had survived on salty water, Manjunath said. Both have been admitted to Goa Medical College, Bambolim, near Panaji.

Gonsalves said this is second such incident in the last one month. "A similar accident had occurred a fortnight back, but there was no casualty," he told PTI.

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