Consolidating the ongoing Search and Rescue efforts for the missing fishermen at sea off the coast of New Mangalore, the specialised Diving Support Vessel – INS Nireekshak was pressed into action by Indian Navy to undertake deep sea diving operations using specialised equipment and naval divers on 16 Apr 21. The ship was able to recover three bodies the same day and handed them over to local authorities at New Mangalore on 17 April 2021. The ship is continuing with the next phase of underwater search operations in the area to locate the remaining six missing fishermen.
Indian Navy ships Subhadra and Tillangchang, along with naval aircraft from Naval Air Station in Goa had been deployed since 14 Apr 21 for the Search and Rescue of missing fishermen after the Indian Fishing Boat Rabah had collided with Singapore registered vessel MV APL Le Havre, 41 Nautical Miles west of New Mangalore on 13 April 2021. Out of the 14 crew members onboard the fishing vessel, two crew members were rescued immediately post collision by the Master of MV APL Le Havre whilst three dead bodies were recovered subsequently in the search.
Based on request from the Department of Fisheries, Govt of Tamil Nadu to undertake underwater search operations, Indian Naval Ship Nireekshak – a specialised Diving Support Vessel, was deployed on 15 Apr 21 to search for the remaining crew likely to be trapped inside the submerged boat (depth in the area approx 130 m – 200m). The diving team embarked onboard the ship had successfully located the sunken boat on 16 April and subsequently recovered three bodies.
The ship is back in the area to continue with the search for the remaining six missing fishermen.