Indian Coast Guard to discuss policy issues, formulate procedural guidelines and assess the effectiveness of the national search and rescue plan at the nineteenth day-long meeting of the National Maritime Search and Rescue Council (NMSARB) held Thursday in the nation’s capital. Presiding over the annual meeting, Chief Executive Officer of Indian Coast Guard and Chairman of NSARMB, K. Natarajan, said the meeting focused on “improving the mechanism for preserving and protecting the lives of seafarers out of the seas. as well as properties “.
At the summit maritime search and rescue meeting here in Vigyan Bhavan, Natarajan said the Indian Coast Guard has come a long way and drafted the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Search and Rescue Convention, the ratification of orders, regulations and joined hands with the authorities of the coastal State as well as with the Association of Maritime Fisheries, the Ministry of Navigation and the Ministry of Fisheries to bring much more synergy and cooperation to ensure that our fishermen and sailors can be rescued from the sea without any loss of time. Since its establishment in 1978 and designation as the national coordinating authority for maritime search and rescue in India’s 4.6 million square kilometer search and rescue region with all 31 stakeholders, said Natarajan, the Coast Guard Indian has saved 10,000 lives out of the sea.
“In the past year alone, around 600 lives have been saved by the Indian Coast Guard and 1,500 lives have been saved in coordination with other stakeholders associated with the search and rescue mechanism,” added the CEO of the Indian Coast Guard. He also mentioned that the last search and rescue meeting took place in December 2019.
The NMSAR Board of Directors made up of 31 members from various ministries, agencies, all coastal states and Union Territories meets annually. Among the dignitaries, Dr Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary of the Ministry of Ports, Navigation and Waterways and Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary of the Fisheries Department honored the inaugural session.
In his inaugural address, the CEO of Indian Coast Guard highlighted various initiatives of the force in coordination with other stakeholders to improve the effectiveness of search and rescue in India’s vast search and rescue region of 4 , 6 million square kilometers. He also informed that the Defense Ministry has given its primary approval for the establishment of 29 additional Maritime Rescue Sub-Centers (MRSCs) to augment search and rescue services.
The President said the Indian Coast Guard has been designated by the Indian government as the Indian Executing Agency for Search and Rescue in the Indian Ocean Association (IORA). In addition, the Ministry of Defense also appointed the Indian Coast Guard as the nodal agency for search and rescue in the Indo-Pacific region.
Sanjeev Ranjan praised the role of the NMSAR board and said the board is a national forum that strives to ensure safe seas for seafarers transiting India’s search and rescue region as well as for fishermen in the Indian EEZ (exclusive economic zone). He said all agencies must work together under a common umbrella to achieve the national goal of providing safe and secure seas around the Indian peninsula.
Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries, during her remarks, appreciated the leading role of the Indian Coast Guard in raising awareness of human safety and assisting fishermen in recent years. He said the Indian Coast Guard has partnered with the fishing community through “community interaction programs” carried out regularly in coastal fishing villages to educate them on the importance of life-saving gear and equipment. sea survival skills.
Swain said the Fisheries Ministry has also taken initiatives to support fishermen at sea, providing safety equipment through various central government programs. In addition to deliberating on various maritime safety issues and identifying areas for improvement in search and rescue services, presentations were made by representatives from ISRO, IMD, Gujrat State Fisheries, Tamilnadu State Fisheries and Kerla State Fisheries.
The NMSAR Council recognizes the search and rescue efforts of merchant mariners, government-owned vessels, shore-based units and fishermen each year. During the ceremony, the Search and Rescue awards for the years 2019-20 and 2020-21 were awarded to the winners in different categories.
MV Navdhenu Purna received the Search and Rescue Award for “Merchant Vessel 2019-20” for saving 98 precious lives from various boats in bad weather at sea and Colonel SP Wahi received the Search and Rescue Award for ‘2019-20 Merchant Vessel’ for saving 16 lives from distressed fishing vessel Dev Sandesh. The Search and Rescue Award for “Fisherman 2019-20” went to Gilbert Savpedru Netoghar from Maharashtra for saving 11 lives from a distressed IFB Laxmi Sai-V fishing boat. (ANI)
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