Unidentified ship hits fishing boat, 7 fishermen injured

Kochi: An unidentified ship, said to be a cargo vessel, today hit and sank a fishing boat off Kerala coast, injuring seven fishermen.

The vessel involved in the incident could not be identified. The matter was reported to the Coast Guard almost 12 hours after the incident occurred in the wee hours around 55 nautical miles south-west off the Kochi coast, coastal security sources said.

Coast Guard and Kochi coastal police have launched a joint investigation to identify the vessel, sources said.

According to the fishermen admitted in a hospital in Fort Kochi, their country boat sank when it was hit by the ship.

"We were engaged in fishing activity when our boat was hit by the ship at around 3:00 AM this morning. The ship did not stop and went away," a fisherman told a Malayalam news channel.

The fishermen said they managed to contact another fishing boat in the vicinity which rescued them from the sinking boat.

Local media reports quoting the fishermen said they suspect it was a cargo vessel involved in the hit and run case.

Coastal security sources said the collision occurred about 55 nautical miles south west of Kochi but the matter was reported to the coast security agencies at 3:00 PM today.

Coast Guard have launched an investigation to identify the defaulting vessel, sources said.

The injured fishermen are being treated at a hospital here.