Mangaluru/Kochi: Bodies of three missing fishermen were recovered by an Indian Navy vessel during a search operation on Friday even as the mission to rescue six others missing at sea after their boat collided with a foreign cargo vessel off Mangaluru coast continued for the fourth day.
A Defence spokesman said INS Nireekshak recovered three bodies of missing fishermen from the fishing boat 'Rabah'.
"The naval divers after extensive diving (at depth of 150 metres) throughout the day recovered the bodies at about 8 pm today", he said.
The spokesman said the Navy vessel is likely to enter Mangalore port past midnight on Friday for handing over the bodies to Mangalore police.
"The ship is presently moving towards Mangalore Harbour at full speed and is likely to reach at about 1 am on April 17, to hand over the bodies to the Mangalore police for further action", he said.
The ship, which intends to return to the accident site, will resume Search and Rescue operations for the remaining six persons tomorrow morning, the spokesman said.
Of the 14 who ventured in the boat on April 18, from Beypore in Kerala's Kozhikode district, two were saved.
The bodies of three other fishermen were recovered and sent to their native places after post-mortem, the sources said.
Two of the deceased were from Colachel in Tamil Nadu and one from West Bengal.
Vessels and choppers of the Indian Coast Guard, Navy and coastal security police have been searching for the missing fishermen for the last three days.
Fishing boats from Mangaluru and Kozhikode also took part in the search operations, the sources said.