According to Rev. Fr. Churchill of South Asia Fishermen Fraternity, 12 fishermen had gone for multiday deep sea stay fishing in the mechanised boat of Byju of Thoothoor from Thaengaaipattinam fishing harbor on August 7. As they were returning to their base, a ship hit the mechanised boat near Maldives in the early hours of Tuesday, in which the boat sunk.

Even as the fishermen were swimming, Maldives Navy rescued them and alerted the fisheries department officials of Kanniyakumari district. Hence, they should be brought back at the earliest, said Fr. Churchil, who accompanied the families of the fishermen when they submitted a petition to Mr. Sridhar on Wednesday.