The Indian Coast Guard at Kochi has carried out sea/air coordinated search off Kerala coast on receipt of information regarding presence of unknown vessel in area. On 20 Feb 16, a telephonic message was received through coastal police station, Thottappally regarding a fisherman having reported that a white coloured unlit boat approached his fishing boat at 2215 hrs and sought assistance to reach ashore. On receipt of information the Coast Guard diverted it’s ships in area to carry out effective search to interdict the vessel. Coast Guard Dornier ex-Kochi was tasked for sea/air coordinated search. CSN network was also utilized effectively for corroboration of information received from the fisherman. It is worth mentioning that Coastal Police, MEW as well as all other stake holders had deployed their asset. The fishermen Mr. Sunil of fishing boat (Regn No. 1956R) had played a vital role by timely informing presence of unknown boat and exhibited highest degree of responsibility on his part. It also proves effectiveness of coastal security mechanism in Kerala. After extensive search and coordination it was revealed that tourist boat named SAWFISH of M/s Nature Ideation Farm and
Leisure Pvt. Ltd was on voyage from Agatti to Kochi via Kalpeni developed problem in one engine and GPS. The GPS has given wrong location of Kochi due to malfunctioning resulting in the boat deviating from it’s intended course. The Master of the boat Mr. Makubeel realized that the boat is at wrong position when he did not sight the buoys of Kochi channel and also restricted in it’s movement.
Therefore, he requested fishermen operating at sea to provide necessary assistance. Further, on advice of owner regarding position of vessel, the master of SAWFISH approached Kochi with one engine at slow speed and entered Kochi harbour at 1000 hrs on 21 Feb 2016. On investigation it was further revealed that SAWFISH was in Agatti island since 2013 and entered Kochi for repair.
Once again Coastal Security Mechanism in Kerala Coast has been proved wherein the fishermen are acting as eyes and ears to the stake holders in Coastal security. The message received from fishermen community was logically investigated and possibility of unknown vessel movement as well as illegal activities were ruled out. The Indian Coast Guard together with all stake holders of coastal security mechanism is geared up to maintain safe and secure coast.
Indian Coast Guard appreciates the efforts of such fishermen towards coastal security and suitably rewards them at an appropriate occasion during community interaction program conducted by Coast Guard.