Coast Guard men interact with fishermen
With a mission to save lives of fishermen in distress, a cavalcade of motorcyclists representing the Indian Coast Guard reached Tsunami Colony here on Wednesday evening.
The rally was received by Deputy Inspector General S.C. Tyagi, Commander, District Headquarters, Tamil Nadu and Pudhucherry, in the presence of Commandant S.E.D. Anand Kumar, ICG, Tuticorin Station.
As part of Indian Coast Guard’s 37th Raising Day programme, which has been scheduled for a week since February 1, the rally, entitled ‘Meenava Nanban’ – Fishermen Friends – had been spreading awareness of safe fishing and advocating the need for carrying life-saving equipment while fishing in sea.
At a community interaction programme organised by the ICG in coordination with the Coastal Security Group (CSG), Mr. Kumar exhorted the fishermen to engage in group fishing by two or three boats so as to rescue any fisherman in distress at the earliest.
Over the last seven months, there had been incidents of fishermen missing in sea and in all such cases group fishing was not done. Stressing group fishing, he said such activities would help both the Coast Guard and the Marine Police personnel to conduct search and rescue operations in case of an exigency.
Prior to fishing, they should check engine conditions and ensure carriage of life jackets and other safety equipment.
Fishermen in distress could dial toll-free helpline numbers 1554 (ICG) or 1093 (Marine Police) for assistance, he said.
Assistant Commandant (Tuticorin) P. Sharan said possession of boat registration details and identify cards were also essentially required while fishing.
The fishermen had been advised not to engage themselves in cross-border fishing in Sri Lankan waters and the Fisheries Department had issued warning that licences of boats would be cancelled, if they were apprehended by the Lankan Navy three times.
Licences once cancelled could not be reviewed.
The rally comprising 24 ICG motorcyclists, one medical team and CSG personnel, began in Chennai on February 1 and reached through the coastline of habitations, including Karaikal, Kodiakarai, Mandapam, and conducted five medical camps.
Seven community interaction programmes had been organised during the schedule.
Mr. Kumar said that the participants in the rally would be received by Additional Director General of Police (CSG) C. Sylendra Babu at Kanyakumari on Thursday evening, where the rally would conclude.