An Indian fisherman has gone missing in the rough seas off Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE and an intensive search operation has been launched to find him.
Christudas Augustine, from Kerala, was among a group of six Indian fishermen who went for fishing along with a friend of their sponsor on Sunday, a media report said.
Apparently, when the sea turned rough following strong wind and high tide in the afternoon, the group returned to the shore. However, Augustine reportedly went missing when the boat was nearly 15 miles away from the shore, his friends told Khaleej Times.
Augustine has two daughters, wife and parents back home. Those who were with Augustine have claimed that they were wearing plastic covers to shield their faces from splashing sea water and hence did not initially notice that one of them had suddenly disappeared.
Ras Al Khaimah police have launched an investigation into the circumstances that led to the incident while the coast guards are searching for Augustine.
On Tuesday, a group of nearly 50 fishermen set sail on 12 boats to scour the sea up to the borders of Iran and Oman after efforts to find him by coast guards did not yield results for two days, said Augustine's friend Gilbert Arulappan who was in the group.
"We went to different directions and continued our search. We were still hoping to see him floating somewhere in the rigs or by using buoys," Arulappan told the newspaper.
A coast guards official said frogmen were also being deployed along with divers to look for Augustine. He said hopes to rescue him were fading as they doubt that Augustine could have got trapped in the deep sea.
The official said cases like this happen as fishermen venture into the sea without paying heed to the warnings about bad weather.