For 44-year-old Nissar hailing from Kollam, the sea was a passion, but after enduring untold miseries during the nine-day escape voyage of 3,000 miles on a fishing boat along with eight others, he has vowed that he will not go into the sea again.
Speaking to IANS, Nissar who was cleared by the immigration officials in Kochi, said that he has is putting an end to his way of life as a fisherman.
"It was a journey that began almost 10 days ago from Yemen and never even in my wildest dreams did I felt that I would be able to reach here, but I did and I have decided, to never again go fishing, which has been my profession so far," said Nissar.
In December last year he reached Dubai, where he met people, who offered him the job of a fisherman in Oman.
"After sailing for a few days, we were told that we have reached our destination and it was after two days, we realised that we were in Yemen and not Oman. From then our travails began and it was a nightmare," Nissar recounts.
"We did our job catching fish on boats travelling into the sea. But our boss never paid us on time and several times we had verbal duels with him. Finally, we decided we won't continue working for him. We never had money and had to go without food for days together. Then, we reported the matter to the police and our employer agreed to pay us, and we went back to work." Nissar added.
This did not change anything, Nissar says, and that his employer once again stopped paying them their salaries. Finally, nine people, employed as fishermen, gathered the courage to undertake what could be a dangerous journey.
"We knew we had to save enough fuel and that we saved up every time we went fishing for our boss and finally when we knew we had saved 4,000 litres of fuel, and also a stock of ration that we could get our hands on. We left the shores of Yemen. When we started, none of us ever thought we would make it,” Nissar says.
The fishermen travelled night and day in the rough and windy seas, scared for their lives. With only one meal per day, they were rationing the food supplies they had. Two days ago, the Coast Guard near the Malabar coast spotted Nissar and the other fishermen “From that moment till this time, we were treated with lot of compassion by all and now we have been released and we are all going our own way. I do not have the mental courage to again undergo the suffering in the seas and hence, I will no longer do this job," said Nissar.
Nissar and his team arrived in Kochi on Friday on the fishing boat named Al-Thiraya 3, belonging to his Yemenese employer and all of them have been cleared and have joined with their relatives, who came to receive them.
Speaking to IANS, Circle Inspector of Police attached to the Coastal Police in Kochi, Chrispin Sam said that seven of them hail from Tamil Nadu, while two are from Kollam in Kerala.
"Their papers are in order and the emigration process is over and all of them have been released," said Sam.
"A few fishermen from Tamil Nadu informed their relatives about their journey and these relatives got in touch with the Coast Guard and other departments. Since we got the information about their travel, the sea patrol teams were also alerted and thus the boat was spotted," said Sam.
"As soon as they were spotted, the Coast Guard officials got into the boat and brought them to our station. Various departments have cleared them as all of them have valid papers on them," added Sam.