• Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024


In a swift and deftly coordinated SAR operation, which lasted for 02 days, Indian Coast Guard in coordination with fisheries authorities and local fishermen rescued all 18 crew from capsized Indian Fishing Boat. Additionally, Indian Coast Guard Ship Anmol rescued 10 Bangladeshi fishermen 12 nm from International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) with Bangladesh, in the morning of 20 Aug 22.

With the first Indication of formation of ‘Low Pressure Area’ and its subsequent intensification into Depression over Gangetic West Bengal, Indian Coast Guard issued advisories to fisheries and local administration for instituting necessary measures. The Indian Coast Guard units in the state of West Bengal and Odisha were alerted and ships/ aircraft were deployed/ tasked to give weather warning to mariners and fishermen at sea.

During the cyclonic weather on 19 Aug 22, at about 1300 hrs, the Indian Coast Guard Station, Frazerganj received an information from District Administration, South 24 Parganas, intimating about capsizing of one Indian Fishing Boat named ‘FB Satyanarayan” (Reg No. IND-WB-DS-MM-11584) with 18 crew onboard at a distance of around 05 Nm South East of Bhangaduni Island. It was reported that the boat got trapped in cyclonic winds/ rough seas in prevailing rough weather condition and got capsized in depth of approx. 04- 05 Mtrs. Understanding the criticality of situation and persisting cyclonic conditions, Indian Coast Guard immediately diverted its two ships for Search and Rescue. Indian Coast Guard also requested fisheries authorities to deploy local fishing boats to augment search efforts. The coordinated response by all stakeholders resulted in rescue of 13 survivors by local fishing boats on 19 Aug 22, whilst Indian Coast Guard ships maintained search seaward of capsized position to restrict possibility of survivors getting drifted to open/ deeper seas. The search for balance 05 crew continued throughout night by ICG Ships. Additionally, Indian Coast Guard also tasked its Dornier aircraft in the morning on 20 Aug 22 for sea-air coordinated search in area. The harmonised SAR efforts by all concerned resulted in rescue of balance 05 crew by local fishing boats from Bhangaduni Island on 20 Aug 22. It is reported that the crew managed to swim across and took shelter at Bhangaduni Island at night during low tide.

Meanwhile, at around 0730 hrs on 20 Aug 22, whilst undertaking search in area for missing Indian fishermen, Indian Coast Guard Ship Anmol sighted 10 Bangladeshi fishermen clinging on to nets/ floats and struggling to survive around 12 Nm South East of Bhangaduni Island. Amidst rough weather and cyclonic winds, the Indian Coast Guard Ship rescued all 10 fishermen from water and gave them first aid, food and water. During investigation, the rescued Bangladeshi crew informed that they left Mongla, Bangladesh at around 1600 hrs on 16 Aug 22 for fishing and their boat capsized at around 1000 hrs on 19 Aug 22 due to cyclonic weather and gusty winds in prevailing low pressure in area. The rescued Bangladeshi fishermen also revealed that there were total 12 crew on their boat and 02 have been reported missing. Coordinated search in area for remaining 02 Bangladeshi fishermen is in progress by Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft. The rescued Bangladeshi fishermen are being brought to Haldia and will be handed over to local police for further formalities.

Indian Coast Guard has been working in close coordination with civil administration of states of Odisha and West Bengal to ensure nil loss of life at sea during cyclones and impending weather. As part of its charter of duties, the Indian Coast Guard undertakes Maritime Search and Rescue operations frequently. The Indian Coast Guard not only provides solace to fishermen and mariners in distress, but also provides humanitarian assistance. This operation again reflects the commitment of Indian Coast Guard towards safeguarding precious lives at sea against all odds. Such successful search and rescue operations will not only strengthen the regional SAR structure but also enhance the international cooperation with neighbouring countries. This is in keeping with the motto of the Indian Coast Guard ‘VAYAM RAKSHAMAH’ which means “WE PROTECT”.

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