Distress alert transmitters to help fishermen

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Chennai, Jan 8 (UNI) Fishermen, who face high risk while on work in high seas, will have little cause to worry as a Distress Alert Transmitter (DAT) will bail them out of tough situations.

This new low cost device for fishermen was jointly developed by the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

At a function held at the Coast Guard Unit here today, ISRO formally handed over the DATs to the Coast Guard. It was distributed to fishermen by Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister K P P Samy.

Each DAT cost around Rs 10,000. It was given free of cost to about five fishermen owning mechanised boats.

The indigenously developed transmitter with a battery life of 24-48 hours after activation would be fitted to the boats. On activation, it would give the GPS position to the Coast Guard Regional Headquarters in Chennai.

Distress alerts would be picked up by INSAT satellite and relayed to the reception centre at the Coast Guard Unit here.

Situations like medical emergency fire on board, sinking or capture of boats could be reported to the authorities on shore for immediate action.

Extensive field trials have been carried out by the ISRO and Coast Guard before it was officially handed over to the fishermen.

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