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    Smartphone for Safety: Improving Fishing Boat Stability with Kora-kora Apps

    Indonesia is one of the top three countries globally for fisher fatalities. With around 2.2 million fishers and over 600,000 fishing vessels in Indonesia, this is a huge problem to address. This is mainly due to fishing vessels that are unsuited to the prevailing sea conditions with poor stability, a lack of watertight integrity, and an inability to control flooding. Indonesian fishermen often lack the necessary equipment and knowledge to assess the stability of their fishing boats, leading them to frequently operate in unsafe conditions and experience preventable accidents.

    The existence of this problem prompted collaboration among Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), University College London (UCL), Universitas Pattimura (UNPATTI), and Orela Shipyard to conduct research about the safety of ship stability located in Ambon. The research team includes Prof. I Ketut Aria Pria Utama and Mr. Dony Setiawan from ITS, Prof Giles Thomas and Dr Andrea Grech La Rosa from UCL, Dr. Wolter Roberth Hetharia from Unpatti, and Mr. Soegeng Riyadi from Orela Shipyard. The project also involved students from ITS and Unpatti.

    The study spans from 2021 to 2023 and is supported by the Newton Fund. The project developed an application (Apps) called \”Kora-Kora\”, named after a local warship. Kora-Kora is designed to be used in a practical, easy, and accessible way. Using a cellphone’s accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, Kora-Kora can automatically read the ship’s movements and give signals about the ship’s condition using color. Fishermen only need to install the apps, ensure their battery is fully charged for use as a ship stability device, and can operate without an internet connection. The application will give a green signal if the ship is considered safe and if it is in danger, the signal will be changed into red. Notably, the research results will be shared freely to public (in this case, fishermen) and will not be patented.

    The project has received “the 2023 RINA-LR Maritime Safety Award” a prestigious award or prize sponsored by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) and the Lloyd Register of Shipping (LR). The research team still work to improve the Apps to make it better and more attractive hence can be use more easily.