Nine Andhra fishermen drown

Vijayawada, June 23 (IANS) Nine fishermen from Andhra Pradesh who had gone missing in Bay of Bengal last week have died, a survivor said. Search is on for other missing fishermen.

A survivor said nine fishermen from Kakinada in East Godavari district drowned when their boat overturned due to high tidal waves.

V. Kotaiah, who is undergoing treatment in government-run hospital in Kakinada, told media persons on Tuesday that they were caught in bad weather when they were busy fishing in the sea. The fishing boat overturned due to high waves and nine fishermen drowned before his eyes.

Kotaiah said he clung to his boat and managed to reach the coast.

The boat along with several other boats had left Kakinada coast on June 16.

While 100 fishermen in 20 boats returned safely to Kakinada, Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram and Visakhapatnam during last two days, another 100 fishermen in 23 boats remained missing.

According to East Godavari district collector Arun Kumar, three helicopters are continuing search for the missing fishermen. He said the government would pay ex-gratia to the families of those died.

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