Three people aboard a fishing vessel died of suffocation in the open sea on Saturday, police and their community said. The deceased were identified as Zaheer Moosa, 40, Qadir Ramzan, 30, and Deedar Ali, 35. The bodies were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities. The police said apparently they died of suffocation in a cabin of their boat near Gate No 1, Chashma Goth in Fisheries. However, further investigations were under way, they added. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum spokesperson Kamal Shah told Dawn that the fishermen had gone on fishing in a big boat. They usually stay up to one month in the sea for fishing.

He said on the boat, the catch and feed were stored in a room. It seemed that some toxic gases accumulated in that room and when one of the fishermen went there he fell unconscious, the spokesperson said. Four other fishermen tried to save their colleague, but they also fell unconscious, he said, adding that other fishermen reached Bhindar Island and moved their unconscious colleagues to the jetty from where they were taken to a hospital.

He said doctors declared three of them died on arrival, while two others got admitted for treatment and their condition was said to be improving. Police Surgeon Summaiya Syed said that the three persons found inside the deck of a fishing boat in the open sea were brought dead at the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi at about 4am on Saturday. Their relatives took the bodies without allowing doctors to perform medico-legal formalities.