Udupi: Vinod Harikantra, Mahesh, Lokesh, Shekhar, Gangadhar Jatga Mogera, Nagappa Narayan Harikanthra and Anil Gatabeera Harikant -- the seven fishermen from Udupi, who were onboard the 'Mathura' boat, owned by Tharanath Kunder from Malpe, had a narrow escape on November 26, as their boat sank off Maharashtra Coast.
The seven panic-stricken fishermen were shouting and screaming for help as their boat got damaged and started sinking. Luckily for them a nearby boat -- 'Mahur', which had a BSNL-Skylo 2-way communication device, heard their call to rescue them in the nick of time.
Using its satellite-based BSNL-Skylo 2-way Communication technology , the boat was able to raise an alarm with the Mathura's boat owner as well as with the Maharashtra Coastal Security. Using a two-way communication system, it was clearly able to communicate the exact location of the sinking boat, and provide support just on time to help save the lives of the seven fishermen.
Relieved and elated by the safe return of the seven fishermen, the Mathura's owner, Tharanath Kunder said, "It is very fortunate that the other boat was equipped with modern communications and was able to hear the screams of my crew. My heartfelt gratitude to them for coming to our support and saving not only the fishermen, but also their family from devastation," while adding that he hoped such modern communications equipment would soon be widely available on all boats so that "our fishermen are able to send timely SOS alerts help".
Confirming the incident, Ganesh K. Department of Fisheries, the state government of Karnataka, said, "It's God's grace that the fishermen were safe and had returned to their families. It is really wonderful that technology came to their aid, something which I wanted to highlight here since we are losing many lives due to lack of effective communication technology. It is very important that we can adopt such modern technologies that can support our fishermen to not only save lives, but also to improve their productivity, which will ultimately transform their communities."
The lives of hundreds and thousands of fishermen are lost at sea every year due to the unavailability of modern connectivity technologies such as satellite based navigation systems that can connect Indian fishermen with mobile devices offering timely SOS alerts and harvesting predictions to ensure better catches and safety while at sea.
The adoption of next-generation digital and satellite communications technologies would raise productivity of fishing harvests, create world-class competitiveness, apart from addressing the immediate and urgent challenge to ensure the safety of the state's fishermen on the high seas. With the availability of new satellite technology, India today has access to services that can ensure the safety of fishermen through ubiquitous coverage that allow fishermen to communicate anywhere and even during the worst of storms, cyclones or other natural calamities.
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