Indian Coast Guard locates, contacts Tamil Nadu vessel feared sunk in high-seas for 4 days
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Indian Coast Guard locates, contacts Tamil Nadu vessel feared sunk in high-seas for 4 days


After a four-day search and rescue operation involving the Indian Coast Guard(ICG) and Navy assets, the fishing boat Mercedes which set sail on April 6th was located around 370kms from Lakshadweep. The vessel with 11-crew that had set sail from Thengapattnam harbour in  Kanyakumari, was on a 30-day voyage towards Kerala when it was feared sunk around 597 nautical miles from Goa. 
Tamil Nadu Fisheries authorities had alerted the Indian Coast Guard on 24th April about debris spotted by other fishing boats, raising suspicion of Mercedes having sunk. Following this, the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center (MRCC) of the Indian Coast Guard, Mumbai activated the International Safety Net to alert merchant vessels transiting the region to look out for the said boat. 
Simultaneously, ICGS Samudra Prahari was diverted for search, MRCC, Mumbai coordinated with merchant vessel Maersk Horsburgh to join the search operation along with fishing boats operating in the area. As the reported position was in Pakistan’s Search and Rescue Region, MRCC Karachi was also requested for assistance. 
Considering the distance from the mainland, the Indian Navy carried out Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft. It was also learnt that the fishing boat was not carrying an Automatic identification System (which transmits a vessel’s location) or any other transponder which could have assisted in early locating. 
After four days of continuous search, amidst challenges posed by distance from the mainland and weather, the missing boat was located around 200 miles (around 370 kms) from Lakshadweep Islands. An ICG Dornier Aircraft located and corroborated the presence of the boat on Wednesday and MRCC Mumbai established contact via a satellite phone that the vessel was carrying. 
In the interim, information was also received from Tamil Nadu fisheries authorities, on the crew of fishing vessel Mercedes having called up home via satellite phone to indicate their safe condition. AN ICG ship deployed near Lakshadweep was diverted to render medical and logistical assistance to the crew and the fishing boat. Under the escort of ICG ship, the vessel is expected to return to its home port by 3rd May, Monday. 


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