A Coast Guard ship today located 15 boats off Lakshadweep and provided assistance to 184 fishermen on board, as part of its Cyclone Ockhi relief operations.
"The ship, ICGS Samrat, on reaching the indicated position in the morning, located 15 fishing boats with 14 belonging to Tamil Nadu and one to Kerala respectively," a Coast Guard statement said.
According to the statement, as Cyclone Ockhi weakened over the sea area with its landfall over south Gujarat and north Maharashtra, the Coast Guard ships and aircraft continued with their efforts to locate and provide assistance to the fishermen stranded in the sea.
"During the ongoing search-and-rescue operation, a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft on a search mission sighted a cluster of fishing boats in the sea area of Lakshadweep Islands. Coast Guard ship Samrat was immediately diverted to provide assistance to the fishing boats," it added.
"The fishing boats were located in two clusters of six and nine respectively, about 40 km apart from each other and about 125 km from Bitra Island," the statement said.
Bitra, also known as Bitra Par, is a coral atoll belonging to the Amindivi sub-group of the islands of Lakshadweep.
"During the rescue operations by ICGS Samrat, 184 crew of these fishing boats were provided assistance of food and water. Three fishermen were severely dehydrated and critical first aid was provided by the ship to stabilise the vitals. ICGS Samrat has been directed to vector the fishing boats to the shelter area near Bitra Island," the statement said.
The Coast Guard region (West) was carrying out extensive search-and-rescue efforts for the stranded fishermen by deploying over 22 surface platforms and five aircraft, it added.
During Cyclone Ockhi, the Coast Guard had saved 367 lives at sea, the statement said.
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