HYDERABAD: More than a day after a fishing boat carrying 12 people capsized in the sea some 150 kilometres off Keti Bunder coast in Thatta, search and rescue for five missing men continued on Wednesday. The Pakistan Navy’s sea and airborne search lasted all through the day but none of the five fishermen or their bodies could be found.
According to Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum’s Gulab Shah, the rescue operation began late due to high tides and strong winds at sea. Shah and the survivors told the media that local fishing boats sailing at some distance from the site of the incident were the first to reach the spot and rescued seven fishermen.
“The boat was hit and destroyed by a strong wave. Seizing broken wooden planks, we swam for hours before help reached us,” said Manzoor Katiar, a survivor. According to him, the survivors’ swimming skills helped them keep themselves afloat.
“After we were hit, we weren’t able to see where the other men were,” he recalled. When the search ended on Wednesday evening, around 36 hours had passed since the incident. “Although we pray that they [five missing fishermen] are safe, our hope is dying,” said Abdul Malik Katiar, a family member of one of the missing men. The missing fishermen have been identified as Mir Murtaza Katiar, Nawaz Katiar, Sadam Hussain Karhmoon, Yaseen Katiar and Ismail Katiar. The vessel, named alQadeer, belonged to Kharo Chann-based Haji Abdul Malik. Fishermen from Atharki and Baghaan creeks were sailing in the boat.
Thatta deputy commissioner Tahir Hussain Sangi told the local media that the search operation by the Navy will resume again today (Thursday).