INCOIS launches Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services

The Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services includes forecasting to small vessels about significant wave height, wave steepness, directional spread and the rapid development of the wind sea

April 07, 2024 06:12 pm | Updated April 10, 2024 04:46 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) launched ‘Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services’ 

Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) launched ‘Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services’  | Photo Credit: By Arrangement

Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, has come out with another pioneering system of ‘Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services’ or ‘SVAS’ for small vessels navigating the coastal waters on the east and west coast alerting about any ‘overturning’ zones 10 days in advance.

The ‘SVAS’ includes forecasting to small vessels about significant wave height, wave steepness, directional spread and the rapid development of the wind sea. Boat-specific warning is issued with the region of danger in conjunction with the category or the size of the boat, informed director T. Srinivasa Kumar in an exclusive interaction.

The advisory is based on the ‘Boat Safety Index’ (BSI) which indicates whether the particular boat is safe during the prevailing or forecasted wave conditions. BSI is derived based on the beam size, category of the vessel, significant wave height, wave steepness, directional spread and rapid changes in the sea state.

This service is particularly useful for small fishing boats and country craft in all the nine coastal States and Union Territories. The most popular categories of fishing vessels used across the country have beam widths ranging from 2.1 metres to 6.5 metres with each State having their own categories. For instance, Goa has trawls with beam widths of 5-6 metres, gill netters of 4.5-5 metres, and other of 2.5-3 meters.

Tamil Nadu has 5.5 metres trawls, 4.5-5 metres of gill netters and 5.5 metres of hook and line boats. Andhra Pradesh has 5 metres trawls, 4.5-5 metres gill netters & 4.5-5 metres of hook & line boats. Kerala has 5.5 metres trawls, 4-6 metres of gill netters, 5.5 metres of hook & line boats, etc.

Ocean analysis

INCOIS also provides ocean analysis and operational forecasts of several ocean state and circulation parameters 5–10 days in advance every day giving accurate advisories/warnings on several oceanogenic hazards such as tsunamis, storm surges, wave surges, etc. to the stakeholders.

He affirmed that these Ocean State Forecast (OSF) and marine hazard advisories are strongly supported by focused research and pointed out that there are also customized forecasts for specific users such as ports and harbours, maritime boards, Indian Coast Guard (ICG), boats/ships, offshore industries, Indian Navy, etc.

Specialized services include Inland Vessel Limits (IVLs) essential to determine how far smaller vessels/boats can go and transfer the cargo onboard large ships safely. Masters of the vessels can access the ocean state forecasts in real-time along the ship routes from the website (https://sarat.incois.gov.in/shipforecast/Login.jsp) and alter the ship’s speed and bearing, if necessary. In addition, ocean state forecasts are also available for the standard waypoints along standard shipping routes such as Chennai – Port Blair and Kolkata – Port Blair, added Mr. Srinivasa Kumar.

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