Bhubaneswar: The Coast Guard has saved the lives of 16 Bangladeshi fishermen whose fishing boat was sinking due to technical snag in the Bay of Bengal.
The Coast Guard ship 'Sucheta Kripalani' while on routine patrol off Odisha coast sighted a Bangladeshi fishing boat approximately 35 nautical miles East of Paradip.
The ship immediately launched its boarding party to investigate, a Coast Guard officer said.
"The master and crew of the vessel on preliminary investigation reported that the vessel after sailing on Nov 2 from Alipore Patuakhali district of Bangladesh developed a technical snag in its propeller shaft during cyclonic weather and had been drifting since Nov 3," the official said.
The crew was provided with necessary medical assistance and food by the Coast Guard ship and subsequently, the boat was towed to Paradip anchorage for further investigation, he said.
"A joint interrogation was conducted by Coast Guard, Immigration department, SIB and Marine Police officials at sea to ascertain the credentials of the crew as well as genuineness of the reported defect. Once found innocent, the boat was provided with technical expertise by the Coast Guard and broken propeller shaft of the boat was repaired," he said.
Coast Guard is presently escorting the Bangladeshi fishing boat alongwith its 16 crew to International Maritime Border with Bangladesh for repatriation.