Jagatsinghpur: A week after being untraceable, all 13 fishermen arrived safely at Paradip port harbour in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district on Monday.
According to sources, the fishermen on board two trawlers were missing in the Bay of Bengal off Paradip coast for the last week and were traced by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) after the Fisheries department wrote to the ICG and Marine police to initiate a rescue operation.
Notably, the fishermen had ventured into the sea on two trawlers on January 8. They had reportedly planned to fish at a distance of 88 nautical miles off Paradip coast. However, no contact could be made with them from January 10.
After the location of the two trawlers could not be traced, president of Odisha Marine Fish Producers’ Association Srikant Parida on Sunday sought the Fisheries department’s help to find them.
ICG traced the two trawlers near the Bangladesh coast and the fishermen were brought back to the harbour in the afternoon.
“They failed to make any contact due to signal failure and were stranded in the deep sea for the last week,” a Fisheries department official said.
Meanwhile, Paradip Marine police launched an investigation into the incident and are interrogating the fishermen to know the circumstances under which they went missing in the sea.
It is pertinent to mention here that the two trawlers were engaged by a contract agency to assist in a survey work of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) for 30 days.
The vessels were tasked with the exploration of oil and natural gas on and off Odisha coast. Despite being asked not to engage in any other work except survey for ONGC, the two trawlers were involved in fishing illegally.