About Us

Sea Explorers’ Institute (SEI) embodies the concept of sea exploration, manifested in the triple objectives of nature observation, scientific exploration and championing the spirit of adventure and sport.

The basic aim of the Institute is to attract the youth to the sea, and to provide opportunities for maneuvering in the sea and rivers for the purpose of sports, expedition and research. We are one of only seven nationally recognized partner institutes of the Department of Youth Affairs,  Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. of India.

We offer:

The Institute is FCRA Accredited, which allows us to receive foreign contributions.

A Brief History

From time immemorial, the myriad mysteries of the sea have captured the imagination of humankind. Its magnificence is hypnotic, its fury frightening and its bounty largely unexplored. As inhabitants of a continent overwhelmingly dominated by the sea, our dependence on its resources has soared over the centuries and is expected to escalate unabated for many years to come.

Kanhoji Angre
Kanhoji Angre

In such a context, the very concept of Sea Explorers’ Institute is marked with dynamism and creativity. And the twenty tumultuous years that this Institute has cruised since its inauguration in 1987 stand testimony to its brilliant success in a field that few dare to tread.

The original idea was mooted by distinguished scientist, explorer, voyager, swimmer and oarsman, Dr. Pinaki Ranjan Chatterjee, way back in the early 80s. However, while preparations to set up a full-fledged institute were still underway, Dr. Chatterjee died a tragic and untimely death just as he was getting ready to go on a voyage by sea from Calcutta to Indonesia under the banner of his dream-institute.

However, the tragedy could not affect the mission. A group of spirited men and women took up the reins. The then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, patronized the initiative. With Dr. Sheuli Chatterjee at the helm, the idea gradually took concrete shape. Counsel was sought from leading academics and intellectuals of the day like Prof. Manindra Mohan Chakraborty (who became the founder president of the Institute), then Vice Chancellor of Jadavpur University, Prof. Santosh Bhattacharya, then Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University), Dr. Debi Prasad Chattopadhyay, Prof. Anil Sarkar, journalist Gour Kishore Ghosh and others. Funds were collected from public donations and charities to finance the infrastructure. The West Bengal government too came forward with its support. The Institute got its present shape, thanks to financial help from both the state and the central governments.

Inauguration of SEI by Chief Minister Jyoti Basu
Chief Minister Jyoti Basu at the Inauguration of Sea Explorers’ Institute

Sea Explorers’ Institute was finally set up on a 468 m2 plot of land on the eastern bank of the Hooghly at Outram Ghat.

On January 22, 1987, Sea Explorers’ Institute was formally inaugurated by the then chief minister of West Bengal, Mr. Jyoti Basu.

First Steps

The initial journey was none too smooth. The road ahead was strewn with numerous obstacles.

The first structure — made of tarpaulin, since pucca buildings are not allowed in this zone — erected to house the institute collapsed during a thunderstorm soon after it was put up.

Then, of course, money was hard to come by. The legendary magician, P.C. Sorcar, Jr., donated an evening’s earnings to open the first bank account of the Institute. Sadhan Dutta of DCL, Jeet Paul of Apeejay and B.M. Khaitan of Maclean Megor were other outstanding contributors.

A Premier Institution

In the course of a couple of decades, Sea Explorers’ Institute (SEI) blossomed into a premier institution devoted to maritime study, training and exploration.

All along its eventful journey, the Institute received help from the Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of West Bengal. The Department of Ocean Development and Department of Sports and Youth Services of the Government of India have also shown a keen and supportive interest in the development of the Institute.

The Institute also received immense help, both in cash and kind, from innumerable well-wishers.

Public and private aid, coupled with a wholesome commitment to the cause, has taken the Institute to where it stands today.

SEI is now one of the most important national institutions in its domain and is affiliated to esteemed apex organizations like the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, National Adventure Foundation, Yachting Association of India, Off-shore Sailing Association of India and Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.