Panaji: The joint search operation by the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard on Sunday recovered three more bodies of fishermen who had drowned after their trawler was hit by a Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel on April 25.
"Three more bodies of fishermen who were on board fishing trawler 'Sea Messiah' which capsized after being hit by Indian Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel 'ICG Vaibhav', were recovered from around where the accident happened," Goa region's Indian Coast Guard Commander S D Bhanot told PTI on Sunday.
He said that a fleet of six ships - three each of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, besides a Dornier aircraft and a Chetak helicopter, is still searching for two fishermen who are still missing.
"The search is in full swing," Commander Bhanot said. With the recovery of three bodies, the total number of casualties in the mishap has gone reached four, after one body was recovered on the day of the accident.
Officials stated that 23 fishermen were on board, of which six went missing, while the rest were saved by another fishing trawler.
The Indian Coast Guard has already initiated a Board of Inquiry into the accident, whose report will be submitted soon, Commander Bhanot said.
Meanwhile, the Goa police have already registered a case in this regard, but events took another twist when police officials from Mumbai's Yellow Gate police station arrived in Goa on Saturday to investigate the incident.
Indian Coast Guard officials had earlier stated that the accident happened 13 nautical miles off the Agonda coast in Goa's southernmost Canacona taluka.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had expressed his helplessness to book the Coast Guard official reportedly responsible for the offence, as the accident happened outside state waters.