Cyclone Ockhi seems to in full rage. The seas are becoming treacherous. All sorts of safety measures are being taken. Especially for the fishermen.
The Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) has developed a device for fishermen to send SOS/ distress signals for when they’re in the water and need help. This device will be available to some fishermen by the coast guard.
Out of the 80,000 registered fishing boats in the state, over 15,000 are boats go out to the sea every day. Because there are no devices to send distress signals, many fishermen drift away and almost many of them make it back home.
The coast guard is giving out 50 units of DAT(Distress Alert Transmitter). So the next time if a fisherman is stranded in the sea or is in any sort of risk, he just needs to press a button on the device and the maritime security agencies will receive the signal.
“Bigger vessels are equipped with the mandatory Global Maritime Distress Safety System which can be used to give a distress signal during bad weather, but smaller vessels don’t have this system,” said a Coast Guard official.
However, the DAT will not be free, and the coast guard and state fisheries department are putting in equal efforts to make the device affordable.
An official said that all things considered, it really is important for the fishermen to use the device properly.
“At present, all we have on our boats is a GPS navigator and a ‘Fish Finder’ device. If in distress, our men try to contact their local fishermen’s body. But often, they are unable to get through and remain adrift for days. There are numerous cases of fishermen going missing” – Damodar Tandel, president of the Akhil Maharashtra Machhimaar Kruti Samiti