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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Paradip, Nov 12: 

Indian Coast Guard has rescued as many as 16 Bangladeshi nationals off the coast of Odisha who were allegedly drifting in the Bay of Bengal following a breakdown of their boat amidst a storm.

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Their boat was repaired by the Coast Guard and the occupants were repatriated to Bangladesh following a joint investigation by Coast Guard, Immigration Department, SIB and Marine Police, said a source in the Coast Guard today.

The source further added that according to the statements given by the occupants, the boat carrying 16 Bangladeshi fishermen sailed on November 2 from Alipore Patuakhali district of Bangladesh for fishing; however, it developed issues in its propeller amidst rough seas the next day following a storm. The occupants had been drifting in the sea ever since.

They were noticed by Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Sucheta Kripalani about 35 nautical miles off Paradip coast and were subsequently rescued by a boarding party of the ship.

The fishermen were provided with medical care and food by ICGS Sucheta Kripalani which was patrolling the waters at the time when they were spotted.  Later, the boat was towed to Paradip anchorage and the occupants were questioned.

The investigating agencies found their narration to be true and their boat was escorted to International Maritime Border along with the 16 occupants following the repair.