Cyclone Kyarr: 80 fishermen from Tamil Nadu remain incommunicado

MADURAI: So far, a total of 692 vessels that had gone deep sea fishing in the Arabian Sea have returned to several parts of the western coast. However, fishermen have expressed concern about the plight of seven vessels with almost 80 men on board, as they are feared to be on the path of Cyclone Kyarr.

The seven ships include five from Vallavilai and one from Mel Midalam and Chinnathurai. If they don't reach the coast in a day or two or if we can't get information from them, their chances of survival are remote, said P Dickson, a Vallavilai fisherman who is coordinating with the fishing officials.

On the positive side, authorities said that of the 78 ships in the sea that had established contact with 55 until 7pm on Saturday. They were near the shore and headed for a safe place. “Of the 23 remaining ships, we are sure that 16 are in safer waters. We have urged the Navy and the Coast Guard to establish contact with these ships with a primary focus on the seven ships, the fishing director G S Sameeran told TOI.

“One of the ships has a satellite phone and connectivity that will not be affected by bad weather. But the device that is kept in the wheel room (cabin) must be removed to communicate or press the SOS button for help. The device could have lost the load or the men could be safe, ”he said.

The fishing department established two control rooms in Kanyakumari district - one each at Thoothoor and the other at Kanyakumari - to coordinate with the fishermen and their families.