Aug 09, Colombo: Indian fishermen on Monday rescued a Sri Lankan Navy officer, who had fallen overboard during a clash with an Indian boat in the sea off the coast of Tamil Nadu, an Indian media report said.
According to a report in India Today, the Sri Lankan Navy officer identified as 'Vijaya Singa' had tripped and fallen overboard when the fishermen's boat collided with a Sri Lankan Navy boat.
The Indian boat, whose crew led by proprietor Ganesan was illegally fishing with banned double fold nets.
In the panic the boat-owner's son had jumped overboard after the Sri Lankan Navy vessel threatened to fire at them if they tried to escape. The fishermen had agreed to surrender.
But after helping officer Vijaya Singa climb aboard thinking he was Ganesan's son Balamurugan, the Indian boat has begun to speed away.
As the Sri Lankan Navy vessel gave chase, its crew realized Vijaya Singa was on the Indian boat, and immediately alerted the Intelligence Bureau at Rameswaram.
It wasn't until Ganesan's boat was surrounded nearly three hours later that he and his men realized who they'd rescued. They were detained at Kangesam.
Balamurugan was arrested on Nainathivu, a Sri Lankan island.
Charges of damaging a Sri Lankan Navy vessel and illegal fishing were brought against Ganesan and his men, and Balamurugan was charged with illegal entry, the report said.
The Lankan Navy hasn't officially confirmed the incident, presumably to avoid embarrassment, the report further said.
Sri Lanka Navy on Monday night and Tuesday morning arrested 49 Indian fishermen in 12 trawlers for illegally fishing in Sri Lankan waters.