Fishermen clamber on to offshore oil platform, arrested

April 1st, 2008 - 9:56 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 1 (IANS) An Indian Navy patrol team late Monday night nabbed 15 fishermen who climbed on an unmanned oil-rig at Bombay High, around 150 km offshore from Mumbai. When confronted by the naval personnel, the fishermen - who have not been identified - jumped into their fishing boats and attempted to flee.

The incident occurred at one of the highly protected oil platforms in the sensitive Heera and Neelam oil fields belonging to the Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), in the Arabian Sea on the west coast of India.

In an attempt to stop them and find out what the fishermen were doing there at the dead of the night, the naval team fired warning shots in the air.

However, the fishermen did not heed the warning. The naval team continued to fire additional rounds in which one fisherman was injured on his upper left arm, the ministry of defence said in a statement here Tuesday evening.

Subsequently, one of the boats was captured by the naval team and escorted to the Heera platform and the injured fisherman provided first aid by a resident ONGC doctor.

By Tuesday morning, the injured man was declared out of danger and airlifted to Mumbai for further treatment.

The ONGC Tuesday lodged a complaint against the fishermen involved in trespassing in the restricted area.

The statement said the ONGC and other joint venture oil exploration companies have reported several incidents of thefts from such unmanned offshore platforms, especially during the night.

“The fishermen who indulge in fishing activity in the close proximity of the platforms pose a safety and security hazard to these vital assets,” the statement added.

A case is likely to be registered with the Yellow Gate police station in south Mumbai that has jurisdiction over such matters.

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