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January 21, 2021

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DEVANG SUBIL: USING DRONE TO LOCATE AND RESCUE 4 BOAT-WREKKED FISHERMEN
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Devang Subil, Thalikkulam, Thrissur

A 19-year-old college studentís passion for drones and ariel photography came in handy in locating and rescuing 4 fishermen missing in sea near his home in Thalikkulam, Thrissur. 

Devang Subil, a second year B.Tech student of Christ University was at home when he heard that the fishermen had been missing in the sea since 4 a.m. in the morning.  He got to the beach by around 10 a.m. and sought permission from the authorities to use his drone to spot the missing ones.  When this was granted, a few other fishermen, who had returned from an unsuccessful rescue effort of 6 hours just then, again ventured to go into the sea with him.

It was Subilís first foray into the sea.  Though armed with lemon and water bottle, he had no time to think of sea sickness.  The strong wind was testing the ability of the drone to stay afloat.  After a few false starts, at 11 nautical miles from land, he was able to employ the drone to spot the first survivor. This fisherman had struggling in sea for many hours for sheer survival.  Yet when he climbed aboard the rescue boat, his first expression to Subil was, Ďyou donít get scared.í  Something, which Subil says he cannot forget ever in his life.

Soon they were able to spot two more survivors nearby.  The fourth person was spotted and rescued a little while later.

Subil had started on making a drone as part of his first-year project.  However, he could not complete it due to lockdown.  So, he had one procured.  Once he returns to the campus, he plans to complete the unfinished project.

His parents didnít know he was venturing into sea until they watched the news later.

 


Sruthy Susan Ullas (text), The Times of India, January 9, 2021

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''It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."