Seventeen fishermen were missing Saturday after an Indian trawler sank off the coast of Bangladesh, officials said, sparking a major search effort in the Bay of Bengal.
Two Bangladesh Navy ships and a patrol aircraft were deployed after a distress signal was sent from a ship travelling with the sunken fishing boat, called Maha Gouri, a Navy official told AFP speaking on condition of anonymity.
"The fishing trawler sank in the Bay of Bengal just 40 nautical miles (70 kilometres) north of Hiron Point in the Sundarbans," the official said.
He said waters were choppy Saturday afternoon when the distress call was sent.
Another official confirmed the number of missing after the boat sank in the Bay of Bengal, the world's largest bay.
"Seventeen fishermen were missing after the trawler sank today," Tapushi Rabeya, a Defence Ministry spokesman, told AFP.
Sundarbans is the world's largest mangrove forest that straddles the India-Bangladesh border and the Hiron Point docking station is popular among both fishermen and tourists.