Calling the recent collision an unfortunate incident, P. Justin Antony, president, INFIDET, on Saturday said the government authorities should come up with strict rules and ship routing, which is known as collision avoidance route planning. The recent unpleasant accident occurred off Mangalore coast on April 13, 2021and the Indian fishing boat “IFB Rafah” sunk in the deep sea due to the Singapore flag merchant ship “MV APL Le Havre” collided with the boat. Among a crew of 14 aboard the fishing boat, three fishermen died and the fate of nine fishermen is still not known. Only two fishermen survived the collision.
Citing these, he said it’s the need of the hour to establish ‘safety fairway; for ships sailing along the Indian coast to ensure that fishing boats would not impede cargo vessels. The fishermen would also be alerted well about movement of ships and vice versa. More importantly, to protect fishermen from such accidents, the government should provide Automatic Identification System (AIS) to all fishing boats at free of cost.
AIS is intended to assist the vessel’s watchstanding officers and allow maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements and is primarily used to avoid collision.
Like how the satellite phones were introduced and provided to the fishermen by the government, fishing boats should also be equipped with AIS as it would be helpful in times of danger, he said.
Meanwhile, according to an UNI report, bodies of three missing fishermen were recovered by Indian Navy during a on Friday night and search continued to rescue six others. The bodies of three other fishermen were recovered and sent to their native places after post-mortem.