Odisha government's fishermen rescue devices fail to meet the purpose

In 2011, the ICG and ISRO had developed these low  cost devices to make sea voyages safe and hassle-free for fishermen.

Published: 23rd September 2018 05:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd September 2018 05:29 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

PARADIP: Even as sea voyages are increasingly becoming difficult for fishermen of Jagatsinghpur  district, an initiative to provide them Disaster Alert Transmitter (DAT) devices by the  Coast Guard and Marine Fisheries Directorate, Government of Odisha, has not made  much headway.

Owing to the heavy wind and tidal waves under the impact of cyclonic storm ‘Daye’, 14  fishermen went missing in the sea. They were stranded in deep sea after their boats  developed snag this week. While the Indian Coast Guard (ICG)  personnel launched a  search operation, they could not locate the fishermen owing to the weather condition.

Three days back, seven fishermen in two boats - Nirman and Omm Maa Parbati - had  gone to the sea for fishing despite cyclone alert. Sources said the boat engines  developed snag and they could not return to the coast. They were rescued by a ICG  vessel ‘Sujay’ on Friday. While one of the boats had not received DAT, the other had  received it but had not installed it as a result of which, ICG could not locate the ships in  the deep sea.

In 2011, the ICG and ISRO had developed these low  cost devices to make sea voyages safe and hassle-free for fishermen. The device has round-the-clock satellite link and in case of emergency, the fishermen  can use the user-friendly device to connect to Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre  (MRCC), Chennai, which is the hub for DATS. The signal from a DAT, when activated  from a fishing boat, is detected by the INSAT and relayed to the MRCC. All information,  including the registration number and beacon ID, is available at the MRCC to identify  the boat, and its location for speedy rescue.

Assistant Director of Fisheries (Marine), Kujang, Manas Ranjan Sahoo said DATs were distributed among around 500 fishermen in the district but many of them did not fit the devices to their boats. Those who installed the devices, have not linked them with the MRCC, he added.

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