Two modern marine ambulances that are aimed at providing swift emergency response to fishermen in distress in the seas were launched here on Thursday by Minister for Fisheries and Harbour Engineering J Mercykutty Amma.
The ambulances named Pratyasa and Karunya follow the first one Prateeksha which had been launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in August 2020. They will operate from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. Costing ₹6.08 crore apiece, they were built by Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL). These 23-m-long vessels can simultaneously provide emergency medical care for up to 10 passengers.
Having 700 HP engines, they can attain up to 14-knots speed. Apart from medicines, they would have paramedics, rescue staff and a mortuary on board. City-based KSINC would provide manpower to steer the vessels.
A sum of ₹7.36 crore had been availed of from the Chief Minister’s relief fund as part of the Okhi rehabilitation package while ₹2 crore was sourced from the Fisheries’ Plan fund. The BPCL pooled in their CSR funds as the price of a vessel and CSL half the cost of a vessel. The city-based CIFT provided requisite technical help. In addition, the Fisheries Department would impart training to 10 fishers in deep-sea fishing and provide them boats. An agreement to construct vessels for the purpose will be inked in February. This is in view of the shortfall in fish catch. The Minister also inaugurated training for these fishers.
Those who were present include Hibi Eden, MP; MLAs from the district, Fisheries Director C.A. Latha and Chairman of CSL Madhu S. Nair.