TAMIL NADU

Coast Guard seek help from public

Riding for safety: Coast Guard personnel who arrived in Salem on Saturday to create awareness on coastal security.

Riding for safety: Coast Guard personnel who arrived in Salem on Saturday to create awareness on coastal security.   | Photo Credit: – Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

Special Correspondent

SALEM: Following the Mumbai terror attacks and because of increasing hostilities in neighbouring Sri Lanka, the Coast Guard has initiated a massive awareness exercise on security, particularly in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu with a slogan “Act as our eyes and ears. We are here to help You.”

A Coast Guard team from its Eastern Region has undertaken a tour of coastal villages in the State to urge people, particularly the fisher folk, to act as Coast Guard’s “eyes and ears” so that any suspicious movement can be reported immediately.

Riding motorbikes, eight personnel, led by Commanding Officer H. Ahuja, had begun the `sensitisation’ tour from Chennai two days ago. On their way to Kanyakumari, they arrived at Salem on Saturday. A member of the team told `The Hindu’ that from there they would proceed to Calcutta via Chennai mainly confining to the route abetting coastal habitations.

They said that to make the people aware of the importance of coastal security, they would also distribute pamphlets to people containing the “Do’s and Don’ts” and address the public in villages. They will ask them to contact the nearest stations of Coast Guard, Police and District Head Quarters in case any suspicious movement is noticed.

The Coast Guard insisted that fisher folk should carry original documents and all country boats should be registered for their safety. Mechanised ‘vallams’ should carry tokens. They asked fishermen to operate in seas in groups to assist each other in case of an emergency, till the Coast Guard arrived. At least one in the flotilla should be equipped with a distress alert transmitter.

They provided the phone numbers to people for emergency assistance. Regional Head Quarters, Chennai: 044-2346404, 044-25395016, 044-23460403; District Head Quarters, Chennai: 044-2561718, 044-23460460; Mandapam station: 04573-241634; Tuticorin station: 0461-2353503 (Telefax).

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