About 180 youngsters from fishermen community have been shortlisted by the Kerala Government as part of its effort to strengthen its coastal wing.
The young fishermen, who will be taken on one year contract basis, would be used for search and rescue operations at sea.
More than 3,000 candidates applied for the post and 180 of them were shortlisted after they went through a series of water-based tests.
Police sources said the water-based tests included 300m freestyle swimming, swimming for 50m by carrying a person on ones back, floating test in which a candidate had to stay afloat for a minimum prescribed time holding a weight of 5kg with both hands and swimming 100m at sea against the tide.
Selected candidates will be distributed among the 18 coastal police stations in state. They will be christened as coastal wardens, and will be appointed on a contract basis for one year. “We are working on a formula, on the basis of which, they will continue to work for five years and after which selected members will be permanently inducted,” sources said.
The coastal police division has 645 personnel, who are assigned from the regular police.
Coastal police, which forms the third layer of defence after Navy and Coast Guard, has a jurisdiction of 12 nautical miles off the coast. All coastal police stations undertake five hours of patrolling every day, using 23 low-weight, highly-manoeuvrable interceptor boats provided by the ministry of home affairs.