Workshop on sea rescue systems

THE HINDU, [17 June, 2002]

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM June 17. The challenges in locating and rescuing fishing vessels which go missing at sea and the technological options for effective sea rescue, will be the focus of a workshop to be held here on June 18 under the auspices of the South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies. A background note on the workshop, which was released here the other day, said the workshop would discuss the limitations of the current rescue systems of the Government and the problems of information, coordination and decision-making.

The lack of appropriate technologies, systems and procedures for sea rescue will come up for discussion. According to the note, there is no effective mechanism for information to reach the shore when an accident occurs at sea.

Given the uncertainties in fishing, a long time is allowed to elapse before the families concerned can even be sure that fishermen are missing at sea. By the time the alarm is raised, it may be too late to do something. The actual location of the boat is difficult to ascertain. Without precise information, it needs a lot of luck to locate the vessel, especially in choppy seas.

The workshop will explore the possibility of equipping fishing vessels with communication and signaling equipment, including radio beacons and satellite-based surveillance and rescue systems.