Udayavni Special

Non-availability of rescue helicopter with Karnataka further distresses emergencies


Team Udayavani, May 19, 2021, 8:44 AM IST

Mangaluru: Due to the lack of reserve or rescue helicopter with the State government rescue operations during emergencies are hampered.

This was evident during the recent emergency when the tug boat Coromandal was carried away by the huge waves due to Cyclone Tauktae and the nine people on board the boat were stranded 12 nautical miles from the shore for more than 40 hours.

Initially, a naval helicopter from the base in Karwar was requisitioned but finally due to bad weather there another naval helicopter from Kochi arrived for the rescue operations.

Coastal Karnataka, more than any other part of the State, requires a rescue helicopter.

Along the 320 kilometres long shore covering the Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts, many different marine activities occur. Ships and hundreds of fishing boats are at sea daily. Instantaneous rescue is essential when disasters occur at sea.

The Coast Guard’s airbase at Mangaluru too doesn’t have any helicopter that can be put to use during emergencies.

Speaking on the issue, Dakshina Kannada district in-charge minister Kota Srinivas Poojary said that 2 helicopters will arrive within a year as the works for the construction of the Coast Guard Academy at Maravur begins.

“We usually request the Navy or the Air Force to provide helicopter in such cases. We will bring the need for a helicopter at the coast to the attention of the government,” said Udupi Deputy Commissioner G Jagadeesha.

“In case of an accident at sea, a rescue helicopter is needed. We will be writing to the State government requesting them to ask the Defense Ministry for a solution,” said Dakshina Kannada’s Deputy Commissioner Dr KV Rajendra.

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