ICG search and rescue of seven fishermen in Andaman seas
In a swift sea – air coordinated Search and Rescue Operation, Indian Coast Guard located and rescued the distressed fishing boat ‘RSN-TWO’ with 07 crew onboard off Tillanchong Island, approximately 350 Km south of Port Blair on 01 Jul 21.
The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Port Blair received an unregistered DAT (Distress Alert Transmitter) alert at around 1130 hrs on 30 Jun 21. Since the alert was activated from an unregistered DAT, details of the boat and its owner were not available with Indian Coast Guard. Therefore, the information was immediately shared with Fisheries authorities seeking details of the boat issued with said DAT.
It was ascertained from concerned authorities that the DAT was issued to fishing boat RSN-TWO and the boat with 07 crew had left Port Blair on 28 Jun 21 for fishing. A co-ordinated Search and Rescue operation was immediately launched and Coast Guard Ship C-422 from Kamorta was tasked for search in the area. To further augment the search efforts, Indian Coast Guard ship Vishwast and Dornier aircraft were also deployed. The seamlessly coordinated search operation resulted in timely locating of the fishing boat off Tillanchong Island in the morning hours of 01 Jul 21.
On establishing communication, the boat reported machinery breakdown due to defect in gear box. The boat crew was provided with basic necessities and first aid by ICG boarding team while the technical staff attempted to repair the gear box; however, defect could not be rectified view non-availability of machinery specific spares. Understanding the criticality of situation and prevailing inclement weather, distressed boat was taken under tow by Coast Guard Ship Vishwast for passage to Kamorta. All the seven crew of the boat are reported to be safe and healthy. ICG is maintaining continuous communication with the boat owner and Fisheries authorities.
The instant case has once again highlighted the importance of carriage of DATs by fishing boats and proved its efficacy in saving lives at sea in times of distress. Developed jointly by ISRO and ICG, DAT is an indigenous, low cost and effective satellite transmitter built for fishermen which relays distress alert to SAR authorities through INSAT satellites instantly with the press of a button. Indian Coast Guard, at various forums, has not only reiterated the importance of carriage of DAT by Indian fishermen but also emphasized on significance of DATs registration by fishermen for effecting timely SAR response.
The successful SAR mission has once again reinforced the trust and confidence of our fishermen in Indian Coast Guard as a leading SAR agency of the region and underlined the unflinching commitment of ICG towards safeguarding fishers at sea in line with our motto VAYAM RAKSHAMAH – WE PROTECT”.