Udupi: The wreckage of the missing boat ‘Suvarna Tribhuja’, that disappeared a little over four months ago, was found off the coast of Malvan in Maharashtra by the Indian Navy. The crew of the ill-fated boat are still missing and are feared to be dead.
It can be recalled that the Suvarna Tribhuja had departed from the Malpe harbour on December 13, 2018, to go deep sea fishing. Seven fishermen – Laxman, Ravi, Harish, Satish, and Ramesh from Uttara Kannada and Chandrashekar and Damodhar from Udupi – formed the boat’s crew. The boat fell out of contact with the other fishing boats and the harbour while it was off the Malvan coast on December 15. Fishermen even held protests in the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts against the delay in launching a search mission. After this, massive search missions were conducted to try and locate the boat for weeks following its disappearance, to no avail. The Indian Navy’s ships, helicopters and aircrafts, the Coast Guard and Coastal Security Police searched the vast oceans for the missing boat.
However, a week ago, INS Nireekshak embarked on a search mission for the missing boat with a few experts and fishermen in toe. They were also accompanied by Udupi MLA Raghupathi Bhat. They were able to locate the Suvarna Tribhuja’s wreckage on Wednesday using the ‘Side Scan Sonar’ technology, at a depth of 60ft. Divers confirmed that the wreckage was indeed that of the missing boat, however, the Navy has not made any official statement regarding the fate of the missing crew, although they are feared to be dead.
Speaking about the find, the Indian Navy spokesperson said in a two-part tweet, “Missing Fishing Boat Wreck Found by #IndianNavy – After an intensive search by ships & aircraft since December 2018, #IndianNavy has located the wreck of fishing vessel Suvarna Tribhuja 33 km WSW of the coast of Malvan. The wreck was found by #INSNireekshak on 01 May 19.
The wreck was found through Side Scan Sonar operations and confirmed today by Naval Divers undertaking saturation diving at a depth of 60 metres. (sic)”