Fisher workers seek marine ambulance

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015,22:29 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Fishermen community in Kerala today urged the state government to introduce a marine ambulance service to help stranded fishermen and tourists in need for medical assistance.
Leaders of organisations representing fishworkers feel that the seaplane service promoted by the government could be effectively used to rush victims of accidents at sea to hospital.
In the case of an accident off the coast of Thiruvananthapuram, the victims could be transported up to the Aakkulam lake from where they could be easily shifted to a hospital nearby, National Fishworkers Forumsecretary  T. Peter said in a statement here.
A project mooted by the government to establish a marine ambulance service at five major fishing centres has failed to materialise. The State budget for 2013-14 had earmarked Rs. three crore for the project involving the deployment of specialised vessels equipped with modern medical facilities. The proposal was to provide the marine ambulance service at Vizhinjam, Neendakara, Vypeen, Beypore, and Azheekal ports.
Calling for assistance from the Navy and Coast Guard to evacuate fishermen at sea requiring emergency medical aid is a cumbersome process, taking precious time. The rescue is often carried out using hired vessels with little or no medical facilities.
The marine ambulance service was mooted to address this situation, said an official with the Fisheries department. In 2014, the government had invited tenders for the design and construction of a marine ambulance equipped with an intensive care unit. The project, however, has remained in limbo as the bid quotation was found to be too high.

Fishermen collapses while fishing
Kannur | A 55-year-old fisherman died in deep sea this morning when he collapsed and fell into  water while fishing in a fiber boat in the Arabian Sea.
According to police, the deceased was identified as B Abdul Gafoor (55) of Neerchal near Kannur City.
A fiber boat, Alfi Mon, left Ayikkara Harbour at around 0500 hrs for deep sea fishing along with five other fishermen.
The incident occurred around 0800 hrs, about six nautical miles from Ayikkara. He fell unconscious into the water. Though co-fishermen rushed him to a nearby district hospital, doctors confirmed that Gafoor was brought dead.