Kochi, Dec 5 (PTI) Local fishermen will join Naval teams to carry out search and rescue operations of fishermen trapped in the high seas due to Cyclone Ockhi. INS Kabra, presently involved in search and rescue operations off Kollam, will take on board local fishermen tomorrow at Kollam port for carrying out guided search operations, based on specific inputs provided by these fishermen, a defence release said today.

Similarly, INS Kalpeni will also take local fishermen from Kochi to further boost the ongoing search and rescue efforts, it said.

Both ships will take on board fishermen in the morning and disembark them in the evening on completion of the guided search, the release said.

Ten naval ships, including frontline ships from Western Naval Command such as INS Chennai, Kolkata and Trikand, are engaged in the operations.

Four types of aircraft, including long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I, Dornier, SeaKing and Chetakm continue to be deployed over an extended search and rescue operations in 250 miles west off Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands and 400 miles off Kerala coast. “The swift and timely action of Indian Navy has thus far saved 148 lives and provided life saving material assistance to 174 fishermen at sea,” it said.

In addition, Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) material has been provided to the Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands.

All efforts are being made to bring back normalcy to the Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands most expeditiously, the release said.

“Relentless efforts are on by all other ships at the disposal of Indian Navy to provide relief/support to the last person needing it, either at sea or at the Lakshadweep islands,” it added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.