Port Blair, July 1: 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 on 01 Jul 21.

The Indian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters at Port Blair received an unregistered DAT (Distress Alert Transmitter) alert from DAT ID-85802 at around 1130 hrs on 30 Jun 21. Since the alert was activated from an unregistered DAT, the details of the boat and its owner were not available with Indian Coast Guard. The information was immediately shared with Fisheries authorities with a request to provide the details of person/boat issued with said DAT.

The boat details were obtained from DAT manufacturer and as per the information available, the said boat with 07 crew had left Port Blair on 28 Jun 21 for fishing. On receipt of distress alert, Indian Coast Guard promptly launched Search and Rescue operation and deployed Coast Guard Ship C-422 from Kamorta at 1230 hrs on 30 Jun 21 for investigation and assistance. In order to augment the search, Indian Coast Guard deployed its Offshore Patrol Vessel ICGS Vishwast and CG aircraft in the early morning on 01 Jul 21. Braving rough seas, the coordinated and relentless search undertaken by CG units resulted in locating the fishing boat at 0900 hrs on 01 Jul 21 off Tillanchong Island.     

The boat reported machinery breakdown due to defect in gear box. ICG boarding team with technical and medical staff embarked the boat for investigation. The boat crew was provided with basic necessities and first aid. The ICG technical team tried to repair the gear box; however, the defect could not be rectified view non-availability of machinery specific spares. Understanding the criticality of situation in prevailing inclement weather, at around 1430 hrs on 01 Jul 21, the boat was taken under tow by Coast Guard Ship Vishwast for passage to Kamorta. All seven boat crew are reported to be safe and healthy. Indian Coast Guard maintained continuous communication and shared the information on developments in the instant case with the boat owner and Fisheries authorities.

The Coast Guard Spokesperson said that “DAT is a low cost, very effective satellite transmitter indigenously built for fishermen. The system, with a press of a button, relays the alert to SAR authorities instantly through Indian satellite. The instant case highlights the importance of carriage of DATs by fishing boats and its effectiveness in saving lives at sea. Further, Indian Coast Guard, at various forums, has not only reiterated the importance of carrying DAT by Indian fishermen but also highlighted the significance of registration of DATs by fishermen for effective SAR response. Such successful Search and Rescue (SAR) mission reinforces the trust and confidence of our fishermen on Indian Coast Guard as a leading SAR agency. This SAR operation, has once again proved professional acumen and unabated commitment of Indian Coast Guard towards safeguarding precious lives at sea in all spheres of operations befitting with the motto of Indian Coast Guard VAYAM RAKSHAMA - WE PROTECT”.