Sunday, 30 November 2014

Rescue hope fades: no trace of 26 missing in trawler capsize in Bay of Bengal

The 26 people, who had gone down with the FV Bandhan in the Bay of Bengal early Friday, remained missing even after 32 hours.

Divers of Bangladesh Navy, however, located the sunken fishing vessel yesterday morning, but could not enter it due to stormy currents. The missing crews are feared dead and the bodies are trapped inside the vessel.

Navy ship BNS Adamya reached the spot from Chittagong in the wee hours of yesterday and joined the search and rescue operation.

BNS Adamya's side-scan sonar detected an object like the vessel around 9:00am, said Commander Shamim Md Khan, in-charge of Navy Intelligence (Chittagong zone).

Around 11:00am, Navy divers reached the vessel and found it tilted on its right side around a kilometre from the accident spot.

The divers managed to hook a rope to the sunken vessel so that they could reach the spot easily next time. However, they could not enter it, said Commander Shamim.

The divers will now try to cut through the doors and windows of the vessel to see if any body is trapped inside, he added.

Three more navy ships -- BNS Bangabandhu, BNS Sagor and BNS Khadem -- joined BNS Somudro Joy, BNS Atandra and BNS Adamya in the search yesterday morning.

Apart from these, navy salvage ship BNS Saikat was dispatched from Chittagong around 2:00pm.

Soon after the location of the object was traced, the divers of Bangladesh Navy joined the rescue operation.

The navy ship, BNS Shaikat equipped with modern rescue gears, has already started for the spot to salvage the sunken vessel, said Navy officials.

FV Bandhan, a shipping vessel of the Bengal fisheries, capsized 28 km off the coast of Saint Martin's Island, being hit by FV Basundhara, another fishing boat.

Three people were rescued. One of them has already died. 26 people are still missing.

When the trawler capsized, FV Joutha Udyam, another vessel of Bengal fisheries, rushed to help, and rescued the three crews – Lavlu, Sajib, Nasir – of who Nasir died.

There were 26 crew members on the boat. All of them believed to have been asleep, when the Basundhara struck the shipping vessel.

Assistant Operation Manager of Bengal Fisheries, Kazi Kamrul Amin told the Dhaka Tribune that their boat was standing in the area, as during the time of fishing they have to spread the net, and the boat has to lay still for some time.

When the FV Basundhara was coming towards the direction of the FV Bandhan, the latter hoisted all possible alarms and signals, putting all lights on and blew sirens. However, when the FV Basundhara straight on hit the FV Bandhan, the boat capsized immediately. The other boats that were present around rushed to help at the time.

He said he had already filed two diaries with the Patenga police.

Filing a case against the ship that hit the boat was underway, he added.

Sunday 30 November 2014


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