The Marine Police of Coastal Security Group in Tamil Nadu have seized a Sri Lankan fibreglass boat found abandoned about six nautical miles south of Mukuntharayar Chathiram coast near Dhanushkodi, The Hindu newspaper reported.
On being alerted by local fishermen, a Marine Police team, led by P.S. Ramesh Kumar, Inspector of Police, reached the spot in a boat in the afternoon and towed the fishing boat back to Mukuntharayar Chathiram. The boat measured 18 feet in length and six feet in width, he said.
Kumar said the boat had the registration number OFRP-A-4044-NBO, indicating that it could belong to fishermen in Negombo in the west coast of Sri Lanka. A fishing net and a plastic cane, containing about 10 litres of kerosene, were found in the engine-fitted boat, he said.
As the boat had a hole in the rear side, apparently caused after it met with an accident, the fishermen might have drifted into Indian waters.
As seawater seeped into the boat and they could not take it back, they could have abandoned it and returned in some other boat, he said.
The police were also investigating whether the boat was used for any smuggling activity or drop Sri Lankan Tamils, he added.
R. Kennedy, Inspector of Police, Q Branch, however, said there was nothing suspicious about the boat.
The fishermen had abandoned the boat after water started seeping into it, he said. (Colombo Gazette)