From saving lives at sea, guarding coasts, and preventing marine pollution, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has evolved into a professional maritime force dedicated to the service of the nation.
The western region of the ICG saved 398 lives during the calendar year 2015. Every day, the ICG deployed an average 12 ships and five aircrafts for surveillance of the coast.
“The coast guard western seaboard has undertaken 75 search and rescue missions, 27 medical evacuations, resulting in saving a total of 398 precious lives over the high seas during the year 2015,” a statement by the ICG stated.
Continuing to discharge its maritime responsibilities in a diligent and responsible manner and protecting our seas from anti-national elements, the ICG deployed a total of 14,351 vessels on the western coast, meaning an average of 43 vessels going on for search or enquiry on a daily basis. This also helped in apprehending Pakistani boat ‘Al Yasir’ on which 232 kg of heroin worth Rs 6.9 crore was found.
Pakistani boat ‘Al Yasir’. mid-day
On February 1, the ICG celebrated its 39th anniversary. Extending his greetings to all ranks of the ICG, Presisdent Pranab Mukherjee said:
“It has lived up to its motto ‘We Protect’ through concerted efforts which have resulted in not only protecting hundreds of precious lives at sea, but also the marine environment surrounding us.”
President Pranab Mukherjee. merinews
PM Modi tweeted:
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore tweeted:
Post 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the ICG has enhanced maritime surveillance to protect India’s coast line. On an average 12 ships per day at sea and five aircraft are engaged to ensure 24×7 maritime surveillance. Thus, a cumulative of 3,616 ship days at patrol was clocked at sea to achieve an incident-free year.
In November, the coast guard was also involved in locating the ill-fated Pawan Hans Dauphin helicopter that had crashed into sea near Bombay High killing two pilots. On January 14, the ICG commissioned a pollution control vessel at Porbandar to help deal with any eventuality created by the oil spill. The 4,300-tonne Samudra-class vessels are equipped with an array of pollution-control equipment for containment, recovery, separation, and dispersal of pollutants.
Last year, the ICG commissioned a total of 23 ships, which include one offshore patrol vessel and nine fast patrol vessels and 11 interceptor boats. This takes the force level to 120 vessels and 62 aircrafts.
The ICG was formally established on August 18, 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India as an independent Armed force of India. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.
The Coast Guard works in close cooperation with the Indian Navy, the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Revenue (Customs) and the Central and State police forces. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently batted for a larger role for women in combat operations in ICG. He also lauded the Coast Guard for imparting training to a batch of 10 women officers to operate a hovercraft. Woman personnel constitute 10 per cent of the total strength of the force, which guards the country’s maritime boundary.