KARACHI: A boat capsized in the sea near the Ibrahim Hyderi Jetty on Monday night.
According to sources, the ice blocks placed on the boat, Al Shahzeb, weighed more than the permissible weight limit. They were also placed unevenly on the deck due to which, the boat lost balance and capsized.
Seven fishermen were on the boat. While five of them were rescued immediately, the other two fishermen went missing. The 24-hour long search and rescue operation to find the missing fishermen was unsuccessful. Rescue teams will be sent again today (Wednesday) to find them. The boat was primarily used to carry and distribute blocks of ice to other boats present in the areas surrounding Ibrahim Hyderi Jetty. Around 200 blocks of ice were loaded on the deck of Al Shahzeb when it left for the sea on Monday night.
According to sources, the pilot of the boat was warned against the excess weight by the crew members who were loading the ice blocks, however the pilot didn’t paid heed to it. Sources affiliated with the fisheries department said that the crew of the boat feared the checking by Customs and Maritime Security Agency patrolling the water near the jetty and therefore, opted for a way to avoid checking. But, the boat lost its balance and capsized in the deep sea due to the weight. Of the seven fishermen who were on the boat, five were immediately rescued. However, two others, Zubair and Chota Munna, went missing and haven’t been found as yet.
A representative of Fisher Folk Forum, Kamal Shah, said that the boat was brought to the beach with the help of other boats on Tuesday morning after the search operation. He added that the search for the two missing fishermen will continue on Wednesday. All the nearby islands have been informed in this regard and alerted for the missing fishermen.
The sources in the fisheries department said that the incident was not uncommon. Many times crew members aboard boats violate the rules due to which many small and serious accidents keep on occurring. Many such incidents have also occurred due to boarding more crew members than the prescribed limit near Keamari Jetty and other islands.
The redressal of such negligence and violation of rules is very important. According to the Fishermen’s Cooperative Society, many efforts are made for the training of fishermen to provide them a secure environment but still such cases continue to occur due to their negligence and carelessness.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2019.