Thiruvananthapuram

Better safety features for new fishing boat

Sea Dragon-44, the boat developed by SIFFS with enhanced safety features.

Sea Dragon-44, the boat developed by SIFFS with enhanced safety features.  

Sea Dragon-44 will be unveiled at Veli today

In the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi, one question that rattled fishermen was this; how safe are our fishing boats? Perhaps, Sea Dragon-44 is the cost-effective solution everyone has been searching for. Sea Dragon-44 is the new, and reportedly safer, fishing boat model built by the South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS) with help from TAFE Motors and Tractors Ltd (TMTL). The model is 44 metres long and its below-deck spaces have been packed with polyurethane foam to improve buoyancy. The model will be unveiled at the Veli boatyard of SIFFS at 11.30 a.m. on Thursday.

Post-Ockhi

“After Cyclone Ockhi, fishermen had complained about the safety of their fibreglass boats. The new model has polyurethane foam packed below the deck, while ensuring adequate storage space for the catch and fishing nets. The safety features increases buoyancy,” said J. Vincent Jain, Deputy Chief Executive and head, SIFFS Boatyards.

Powered by a 28 hP inboard engine, Sea Dragon-44 is also an energy-efficient model, drawing power from the sun for auxiliary functions, excluding propulsion. “The boat has a 200-watt-capacity solar power unit which powers the life-saving equipment, fish finder and the lighting and navigation systems,” Mr. Jain said.

A smaller craft

SIFFS is also planning to unveil another interesting model on Thursday. This is a smaller, sea-going 12-footer fishing craft made from packing material.

“We’ve used material used to pack boat engines and generators. It is usually discarded after unpacking the contents. The material has been laminated with fibreglass for the hull,” Mr. Jain said. This model can seat two fishermen.

Leela Edwin, head of Craft and Gear Division, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), is the chief guest at Thursday’s function.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:08:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/better-safety-features-for-new-fishing-boat/article26594542.ece

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