India has received as many as 516 fishermen along with 32 fishing boats stranded in Bangladesh, confirmed an official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence on Wednesday.
The repatriation of fishermen and boats, from Bangladesh to India, was done by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in a coordinated operation with the Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG).The boats were stranded and had taken shelter at the Payra Port in Bangladesh, approximately 135 km from the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) due to inclement weather and rough sea conditions in the Bay of Bengal.
According to the statement, the fishing boats were escorted by two BCG ships, Mansoor Ali and Sadhini Bangla, up to the IMBL where they were formally handed over to ICG ships, Vijaya and Anmol.
Meanwhile, search for remaining 24 missing Indian fishermen is in-progress by the BCG, naval ships, aircraft in Bangladesh waters. Besides, ICG ships, hovercraft and aircraft are also carrying out search off India's eastern state of West Bengal coast along the IMBL.
The coordinated response between the Coast Guard agencies of India and Bangladesh demonstrates a mutual commitment to the safety of fishermen at sea and further strengthens the bilateral relationship between the two countries, added the official statement.