At least eight fishermen were missing after their boats anchored near the sea coast got destroyed and capsized amid the stormy weather overnight in Una taluka of Gujarat's Gir Somnath district, officials said on Thursday.
A rescue operation was launched with the help of a Coast Guard helicopter early Thursday morning to find the eight missing fishermen, Una taluka's mamlatdar (revenue officer) R R Khambhra told PTI.
Locals claimed that at least 10 boats were completely destroyed and 40 others, which were anchored at the coast, were partially damaged due to the stormy weather.
"The sea conditions turned rough after midnight in Navabandar village due to the strong winds and sea waves. Initially 12 fishermen were untraceable, but four of them managed to swim back to the shore, while eight are still missing. We have started a rescue operation with the help of a helicopter sent by the Coast Guard," Khambhra said.
According to Navabandar sarpanch (village head) Somvar Majithia, the fishermen were sleeping inside their anchored boats when the strong winds and waves struck the coast around midnight following a sudden change in the weather.
"There was a storm-like situation after midnight. We have learnt that eight fishermen are missing after their boats got destroyed and capsized in the sea waters due to the rough weather. While 10 boats were totally destroyed, around 40 other boats also suffered damages," Majithia said.
Gujarat witnessed a change in the weather conditions on Wednesday with some parts of the state receiving rains, which is unusual in the month of December. Parts of Maharashtra and south Gujarat received rains on Wednesday, owing to a low-pressure area in the Arabian Sea and a western disturbance, the India Meteorological Department earlier said, adding that the showers are likely to continue on Thursday.