Mumbai, Dec 4 (PTI) The Coast Guard has rescued 183 fishermen stranded in choppy waters off the coasts of Kerala and Lakshadweep due to Cyclone Ockhi, a top official said here today.

“Till yesterday, 164 fishermen were rescued. Today, 19 more were rescued,” Inspector General K R Nautiyal, Commander, Coast Guard Region (West) told reporters.

“The Coast Guard Region (West) at Mumbai is assessing the impact of cyclone in the sea area. It has tasked ships and aircraft for providing critical assistance to the fishermen at sea,” he said.

According to Nautiyal, the Coast Guard District Headquarters at Cochin and Kavaratti were directed to provide necessary assistance to the stranded fishermen and shepherd them to shelter areas.

“The Coast Guard tasked 12 ships and deployed three Dornier aircraft and two helicopters for sea-air coordinated search and rescue assistance to the stranded fishermen at sea,” the officer said.

“Operations are continuing and deployment of ships and aircraft continues in the affected area to search for those stranded,” he added.

During the ongoing search operations, the Coast Guard personnel are braving extremely unfavourable sea conditions, he said.

As per the officer, the Coast Guard stations along the West coast were interacting with fishermen and assisting them with first aid and food as required.

Fishermen were being advised to remain inside harbour and not to venture out at sea till the system dissipates, he said.

Data of fishermen in shelter areas was being shared with the state authorities concerned to convey the same to the next of kin.

He said the Coast Guard Region (West) was disseminating advisories to authorities in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Daman and Diu in the likelihood of the cyclone re-curving and making landfall along south Gujarat coast near Gulf of Khambat.

“Oil handling agencies in offshore development areas have also been advised to initiate cyclone contingency measures and initiate necessary evacuation of personnel from oil platforms well in time,” he signed off.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.