The 'Oceanic', owned by Sambasivan of Munambam, was stationed 27 nautical miles north-west off Chettuva barmouth in Thrissur, with 14 crewmen onboard when the unknown ship reportedly rammed the fishing boat at about 3.30 am, breaking it and throwing the men into the water.

The vessel reportedly made a brief halt but continued its journey 'without bothering to undertake any rescue operations,' one of the two survivors was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

The two fishermen were transferred to the Government General Hospital in Ernakulam. One of them, sustained a hand fracture and the other one reportedly developed complications after ingesting water mixed with fuel.

The Indian Navy and Coast Guard vessels along with 50 fishing vessels are searching for the missing fishermen.

Local media identify the 'unknown' vessel as the Indian-flagged oil tanker 'Desh Shakti', in accordance with the fishermen's descriptions, but this information is yet to be officially confirmed. Four vessels were allegedly sailing in the area at the time of the incident.