Cherthala: The fishermen are in a state of shock as an engine of a fishing vessel, which was anchored about 50 metres from the Mararikulam coast in Alappuzha district, was stolen the other day.
The 40 HP engine worth Rs 2.5 lakh was robbed from a vessel owned by Sebastian hailing from Mararikulam north panchayat.
The fishermen came to know about the theft on Monday morning as they were gearing up to venture into the sea.
An attempt was also made by the sea robbers to steal the engine of a big boat which was stationed about one km off the Chethi coast near here.
Fishermen said that the sea robbers were on the prowl and were a threat for them. The big boats put anchor about 50 meters from the shore. The robbers usually eye fishing nets, petrol and lead, and they are giving sleepless nights to the fisherfolk in the region.
Normally, two vessels put anchor near Mararikulam coast, seven boats near Chethi coast and 10 big boats near Chenaveli coast.
The delay in opening a new harbour in the region had put the fishers in a quandary as they don't have a safe place to dock their fishing vessels, said Kerala Independent Fishermen Federation district president Ashayam Raju.
The concerned officials should put in place facilities for the fishermen to safely store their equipment, which were usually bought by borrowing money, he added.
Arthunkal coastal police said that they had registered a case in connection with the theft.
Currently, the coastal police don’t have boats to patrol the sea as the only boat they have is undergoing repair works in Fort Kochi.