30 fishermen get life-saving distress alert kits

A Coast Guard official explaining the functions of a Distress Alert Transmitters at                                      a programme in Mangalore on Monday. DH Photo

Fishermen in the State can feel safe if they face problems at sea as Coast Guard has given Distress Alert Transmitters (DATs) free of cost to 30 fishermen in Mangalore on Monday.

The Coast Guard, with assistance from the Fisheries Department, distributed the DATs free as part of safety measures for fishermen.

Speaking on the occasion, Coast Guard Commandant (Operation) Commandant R K Sharma said that his organisation has received 80 DATs to be distributed among fishermen. The DATs will be distributed in Malpe and Karwar soon.

The DATs has four buttons, which help the fishermen to convey their problem to the rescue agency. The first button is for fire, second one for medical emergency. If the fishing boat is capsizing, then the third button helps to convey it to the Coast Guard. If the fishermen drowned while fishing, then fourth button will be of great help. By pressing the designated button, the Coast Guard will come to know the kind of distress and help them to reach to the boat in distress by making all preparations.

He said with the message, the Coast Guard will get the complete details on the registration number of the boat and other details.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) developed these transmitters, which will be of great help to fishing boats operating away from the coast. It was difficult to search a small fishing vessel in distress at sea in view non-availability of communication, correct position and small size of the vessel.

The DATs will provide us complete details on the position of the boat as well, he added.
He said the device contains an UHF transmitter, GPS receiver, omni directional antenna and a battery.

The water proof sealed package can either be mounted on the roof top of the boat or on the deck.

The DAT, on activation, gives distress alerts which are picked up by  satellite and relayed to the reception centre of Indian Coast Guard, which passes the message immediately to the Coast Guard station concerned under whose jurisdiction, the distress position falls, Commandant Sharma said.

He said “if fishermen go for group fishing, then if one boat has a device, it will help us to locate the boat which is in distress.”

Within 45 seconds of pressing the button, it will give signal to the satellite, Commandant Sharma informed.

Fisheries Department Deputy Director Suresh Kumar said “we have five diesel bunks exclusively for fishermen in Mangalore. We had asked the diesel bunks to give the names of the fishermen for the distribution of DATs. The fishermen representative gave 30 names for DATs. The DAT costs around Rs 10,000.”

Coastal Security Police Inspector Mukund Naik was present.

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