Navy deploys ships for search and rescue off Kerala coast

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Thiruvananthpuram, Nov 30: Indian naval ships have been deployed for search and rescue operations after some boats went missing when cyclonic storm Okhi hit the Kerala coast, an official statement said on Thursday.

At least six fishing boats with fishermen on board and one marine engineering vessel are reported missing at sea near Vizhinjam. The storm had developed in the Indian Ocean off the Kerala coast.

A Navy statement said ships Shardul, Nireekshak, Kabra and Kalpeni and two aircraft based at Kochi were deployed following a request from the Thiruvananthapuram District Collector for assistance in search and rescue operations.

"The ships and aircraft will continue to maintain at sea for any assistance required by the civil administration till the cyclone crosses the Indian coast," the Navy said. 

The Southern Naval Command is also gearing up for any humanitarian assistance and disaster relief that may be required due to the storm in the southern part of Kerala, the statement added.