An unidentified cargo ship travelling from Gujarat travelling towards the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Nhava Sheva port, collided with a fishing trawler in the early hours of August 31, while the boat was anchored 80 nautical miles (roughly 144km) off the Uttan coast in Bhayander.

The 12 crew members on board ‘Abraham’ – the vessel, were unharmed in the collision but the boat’s bow broke.

The fishing boat, owned by Dennis Francis Munis of Uttan, had left from Uttan on August 28. The crew had caught a good quantity of fish and was set to return soon. On August 31, the boat dropped anchor, and most of the crew went to sleep, while two members were on night vigil. Around 1am, an unidentified cargo ship collided with the trawler and no horns were blown by the ship as a warning, said Bernard D’mello, a fisherman from Dongri-Chowk village in Uttan, who was alerted by the pilot of the trawler.

“We immediately alerted nearby trawlers, and they reached out to the boat which had a damaged bow. Water was into the vessel and it was tilting to one side,” said D’mello.

The boat was towed back to Uttan on September 1 evening, and the owner has suffered nearly ₹4 lakh in damages, said D’mello. The Dongri-Chowk Fishermen’s Sarvodaya Sahkari Society, Uttan, have written to the state fisheries department for ₹4 lakh as compensation for the damages suffered.

The owner of the vessel approached the Uttan police station to file a complaint and was directed to Yellow Gate police station. “We received a complaint from the owner and we have directed him to complain to Yellow Gate police station as all incidents beyond 12 nautical miles come under their purview,” said assistant inspector Satish Nikam of Uttan police station.

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