Vizhinjam: A catamaran spotted off the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC),Thumba, raised tension among coast guards and security agencies. The security agents breathed a sigh of relief on discovering that the vessel, suspected to be a potential threat, belonged to Clemense (77), a native fisherman of Poovar, who was onboard.
The Coast Guard’s C-441 rushed to the catamaran after it was spotted and the Border Security Forces had been alerted by noon. The coastal police watched over the shore. Clemense and the vessel were brought to the new dock in Vizhinjam by the C-441 crew headed by commanding officer Assistant Commandant Amit Chaudhary.
The security forces' timely response turned to be a boon for Clemense who was exhausted of veering the old catamaran he was bringing from Puthenthope. Financial constraints had forced him to use the sea on Sunday despite warnings of adverse winds that tired him out near Thumba. He had tied his red lungi as a sail which again had attracted the security forces's attention. Clemense was handed over to the relatives after he was sent to the coastal police and given first aid.
Ever since the Sri Lankan blasts the coast is kept under close scrutiny. What further raised the alert was that the VSSC area is seldom visited by fishermen and even those who venture are detained by coast guards. Cyclone Fani has prevented fishermen from going out to the sea.