Most trawlers in Barguna did not return to shore, 20 missing

Patharghata fish dock in Barguna
File Photo

As an impact of Cyclone ‘Midhili’, created in the Bay of Bengal, stormy winds have been blowing in Barguna since morning.

Though the sea is rough, most of the fishing trawlers haven’t yet returned ashore in Barguna. The owners association couldn’t contact more than 20 of to those boats at sea.

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The deep depression created in the Bay of Bengal has turned into cyclone ‘Midhili’. The meteorological department has advised the maritime ports Mongla and Pyra to hoist danger signal 7 while meritime ports Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar has been advised to hoist danger signal 6.  

The meteorological department has said that the sea is extremely rough near in the area near the center or eye of the cyclone. Waves at least three to five feet higher than the usual tide could hit several coastal districts, they warned.

Barguna district trawler owners’ association said around 1,500 trawlers of the district go for fishing at the estuary and in the deep sea. Fishermen have taken almost all of those trawlers out for fishing in the bay. These trawlers haven’t returned ashore even after the cyclone warning.

To combat the effects of the cyclone, Barguna district administration held a preparatory meeting at 10:00pm on Thursday night.

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Deputy commissioner of Barguna Md Rafiqul Islam, who presided over the meeting, told Prothom Alo that fishermen have been instructed to bring all the trawlers fishing in the deep sea to shore safely.

Barguna district trawler owners’ association president Mostafa Chowdhury said that the fishermen are not taking the warning signals that seriously. He told Prothom Alo this morning that the fishermen are not returning to the shore because the sea did not seem so rough to them. And, they couldn’t communicate with more than 20 of those trawlers.

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Mostafa Chowdhury said that 300 fishermen and 20 fishing trawlers of Patharghata upazila have gone missing being hit by the cyclone. The incident of fishermen going missing has caused the residents of nearby fishing village to worry.

The fishermen are being searched. One of the trawlers has been capsized but the fishermen have been rescued and brought back to Patharghata in another trawler.  

Deputy commissioner Md Rafiqul Islam said that he has learnt about 20 trawlers going missing with fishermen. The coast guard, local administration and fisheries association have been instructed to search for them.