Kochi: Scripting another successful rescue mission by India through the sea route, two Navy-escorted ships with 484 passengers, including Bangladesh nationals and Yemenese of Indian origin, evacuated from conflict-hit Yemen, arrived in Kochi on Saturday.
Of the total passengers, 17 are Keralites.
MV Kavaratti and MV Corals had 318 and 166 personnel embarked on it, respectively. This is the last evacuation from Yemen by the sea route.
Among the passengers onboard the Corals, 42 were Indians while the rest were Bangladesh nationals. Twenty seven Indians, 64 Bangladesh nationals, and 75 Yemenese of Indian origin reached by MV Kavaratti.
India had launched a massive air and sea evacuation operation late last month to bring back its national stranded in Yemen. The air evacuation concluded on April 9 after more than 4,700 Indians and nearly 1,000 foreign nationals belonging 41 countries were brought home.
In addition, Indian naval vessels have also evacuated over 1,670 Indians from Aden, Al Hudaydah and Al Mukalla ports in Yemen since March 31.
The two passenger ships, among the first to be tasked for evacuation by the government, had left here on March 30 and reached Djibouti six days later with armed naval commandos and naval escort on board. It departed from there on April 12.
The ships were escorted by a naval warship INS Tir till Kochi harbour after which they were led into their respective berths by Fast Interceptor Crafts(FIC) of the Southern Naval Command.
Meanwhile, the port trust said in a release that NORKA and the district administration in coordination with Railways were overseeing the arrangements for onward travel of the Indians arriving by the ships. Officials from Bangladesh government are also in the town to co-ordinate onward travel of Bangladesh nationals, it said.