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India searches for seven fishermen missing in storm

India's coast guard was searching on Monday (4 August) for seven fishermen whose trawlers capsized in the Bay of Bengal, but 600 others who had been missing were safe, an official said.

KOLKATA: India's coast guard was searching on Monday (4 August) for seven fishermen whose trawlers capsized in the Bay of Bengal, but 600 others who had been missing were safe, an official said.

The seven fishermen were on board two trawlers which sank in a storm overnight on Sunday off the coast of West Bengal in eastern India, the head of the Fishermen's Welfare Association said. But 600-odd fishermen aboard 40 other trawlers also caught in the storm made contact after returning safely to harbours along the coast.

"All 40 fishing trawlers ... which went missing after being in a storm have been found," Bijan Maity told AFP. "Seven people however remain missing after two of the fishing trawlers sank during the storm last night," he added. "Of the 29 people in the two trawlers, 22 were rescued, but seven drifted away by the high seas."

The trawlers had been attempting to return to Kakdwip, a fishing harbour about 87 kilometres (54 miles) south of West Bengal's capital Kolkata. Coast guard official BN Mahato said the search for those still missing was continuing, although operations were hampered by ongoing bad weather.

During storms in the Bay of Bengal, many captains find themselves unable to return to port and take refuge with their boats and crews along the coast including in neighbouring states such as Orissa. Storms and cyclones over the Bay of Bengal kill hundreds every year, destroying homes and farmland in Bangladesh and in India's eastern coastal states.

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