By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on Dec 30, 2011
CHENNAI: Owners of the mechanised fishing trawlers that left Kasimedu Fishing Harbour more than a week ago and remained untraceable near Nizampatnam Bay area for the past two days heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday evening after most of the stranded boats and crew reached safety.Confirming the news to Express, M E Raghupathy, president of Chennai-Tiruvallur- Kanchipuram District Mechanised Boat Fishermen’s Association, said that he received telephone calls from Krishnapatnam and Nizampatnam in Andhra Pradesh in the afternoon, confirming the safe arrival of Kasimedu fishing trawlers.“I received phone calls from crew members of various trawlers, who were earlier untraceable due to inclement weather in Nizampatnam Bay area. By noon on Wednesday, most of the boats reached safe locations there,” Raghupathy said.It may be noted that Express carried a report about the stranded mechanised trawlers in the region and the appeal made by boat owners to the Indian Coast Guard Region (East) to rescue them.Meanwhile, the Coast Guard also swung into action on Thursday morning and its ships ICGS Vigraha and Vajra were deployed from Paradip and Visakhapatnam for search and rescue (SAR) operations along the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coast.Coast Guard Dornier aircraft from Vizag were also pressed into service from Santhapalli to Narsapur area for coastal surveillance and assistance to fishermen in distress at sea.“All out efforts are being made by Coast Guard Region (East) to rescue the stranded fishermen off Kasimedu, who had ventured into the sea,” a CG statement released here said.Nearly eight fishing trawlers are still in the Nizampatnam Bay, but all are safe as the threat due to cyclone Thane has reduced in that area, Raghupathy said.The boat owners also advised crew members to stay there till the intensity of Thane reduces in Chennai.Meanwhile, the Coast Guard has requested the fisheries departments of TN and AP to ensure that fishermen do not venture into the sea until weather conditions improve.
Operations on hold at city ports
CHENNAI: The Chennai and Ennore ports have been put on high alert in view of cyclone ‘Thane’. As a precautionary measure, vessels anchored at the Chennai Port were moved out from different wharfs to the outer anchorage.As storm warning Flag Signal Number 9, which indicates ‘great danger’, has been hoisted at both ports, all operations have come to a complete standstill since Wednesday night. Flag Signal 9 indicates that the ports will experience gusty winds coupled with torrential rains due to the cyclone.While there were no vessels at anchorage at Ennore Port, nearly 20 vessels were moved out of Chennai Port’s various berths. Cargo vessels approaching Chennai Port and Ennore Port have been advised to take wind movement into account while inching closer to the port’s perimeter.