The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, has developed a mobile app to save lives and property at sea.
SARAT is a versatile tool that can assist with searching for over 64 types of missing objects, including boats, ships and man-over-board.
The app, launched by Rajendra Singh, Chairman - National Maritime Search and Rescue (NMSAR) Board and Director General - Indian Coast Guard, in New Delhi on Monday, will be available for download from the Google Play Store.
The SARAT system, earlier released in its web version last year, mainly enables the Indian Coast Guard, the Indian Navy and Coastal Security Police to minimise search time during their various operations to minimise loss of life, injury and property damage.
However, in such exigencies, quick action is vital and hence this mobile app has been developed to make this system conveniently available to all, the INCOIS said in a statement here.
Request forms and generated responses are provided in local languages of all Indian coastal states, so that fishermen can easily use it to search when their fellow fishermen are in distress.
Users can select a specific point where the person or object was last seen using the app's interactive map or they can select a nearby coastal location, approximate distance travelled and bearing angle, so that the 'last seen' point is calculated.
The most probable search area is then generated and relayed in map form as well as a text message.
The SARAT system proved its mettle earlier by successfully assisting with the recovery of Indian Coast Guard's missing Dornier aircraft off Chennai in 2015. The system can predict the most probable search area for up to five days.
"Work is on to integrate it with the Indian satellite INSAT for improved real-time transmission and relay of information," the statement added.