Kochi: The Water Transport Department (SWTD) will launch the state’s first Rescue-Cum-Ambulance boat on April nine, catering to people living in islands in Alappuzha and Ernakulam regions during emergency situations.
“Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will launch the steel boat with rescue and medical equipment at Panavally near Aroor on Monday next, catering to hundreds of residents in Perumbalam Island in Vembanad lake. The islanders have no road connectivity and during emergencies like disease or mishap, the boat will be at their service,” said a senior SWTD official.
Four more similar boats will be soon deployed at Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Kottayam.
“Currently we lack a dedicated rescue mechanism like a boat with rescue and medical equipment. The vessels are meant for rescue purposes upon any emergency in the water bodies. A dedicated mobile number will be publicized and the boat would be rushed to the spot upon getting alerts. They will also serve the purpose of water ambulance for people living on islands in Alappuzha and Ernakulam area with no road connectivity,” the official said.
Each of the 40-foot vessels can accommodate 16 passengers and three crew. It has a design speed of 12 knots instead of the normal boat speed of seven. The boats will have all basic equipment besides medical facilities for first aid. Kochi-based Navgathi Marine Design and Constructions (P) Ltd is constructing the boats which would cost nearly Rs five crore.
“Out of the remaining four ambulance boats, construction of two has reached finishing stage. A high-level meet is scheduled on Thursday to finalise the services and the exact places of deployment,” he said....