Signal from ISRO-Coast Guard transmitter saved 7 fishermen


A timely signal from a distress alert transmitter (DAT) jointly developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Indian Coast Guard enabled the latter to save seven fishermen stranded in mid sea.

According to the Coast Guard, in a swift sea – air coordinated Search and Rescue Operation, it located and rescued the distressed fishing boat with seven crew onboard off Tillanchong Island, approximately 350 km south of Port Blair on Thursday.

The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Port Blair received an unregistered DAT alert at around 11.30 a.m. on June 30.

Since the alert was activated from an unregistered DAT, details of the boat and its owner were not available with the Coast Guard.

Soon it was gathered that the DAT was issued to fishing boat RSN-TWO and the boat with seven crew had left Port Blair on June 28 for fishing.

A co-ordinated search and rescue (SAR) operation was immediately launched and Coast Guard Ship C-422, Vishwast and Dornier aircraft were tasked for search in the area and the distressed boat was located off Tillanchong Island.

The fishing boat was towed by Coast Guard ship to Kamorta.

“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,” Coast Guard said.

Developed jointly by ISRO and ICG, DAT is an indigenous, low cost and effective satellite transmitter built for fishermen which relays distress alerts to SAR authorities through INSAT satellites instantly with the press of a button.

Coast Guard, at various forums, has not only reiterated the importance of carriage of DAT by Indian fishermen but also emphasised on significance of DATs registration by fishermen for effecting timely SAR response.