A group of 36 Indian fishermen are headed to the Maldives in eight mechanized vessels in search of their fellow fishermen who went missing after Cyclone Ockhi in December.
The fishermen from Kanniyakumari had long given up on the search operations of their government as they had not been fruitful in finding the hundreds of fishermen who went missing along with their vessels. The men had requested the Indian authorities to get aid from neighboring countries to look for the missing men. However, no actions were taken even then.
According to The Hindhu, an Indian news outlet, the fishermen had approached the Maldivian government through the Indian Embassy in order to request permission for their search. The men are expected to reach the Maldives on Thursday. S.Sunil of Vallavilai, a leader among the search operation, said that they would actively start looking for the missing fisherman on Friday.
The foreign ministry of the Maldives was said to have granted permission although there had been previous search operations carried out by the Indian government in the aftermath of the cyclone. The Maldivian navy had also found and saved an Indian fishing boat after those operations.
During Cyclone Ockhi, 67 Indian and Sri Lankan fishing boats had gone missing. Several areas including Tamil Nadu from India, and several areas in Sri Lanka saw severe damages. According to officials, 531 fishermen who were caught up in the storm had been rescued.