ICG Holds 19th Nationa Maritime search and rescue board meeting
Indian Coast Guard conducted the 19th National Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB) meeting at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on 25 Nov 2021. The apex level Maritime Search and Rescue meeting was chaired by DG K Natarajan, PVSM, PTM, TM, Director General Indian Coast Guard and Chairman, NMSARB.
The Board comprising 31 members from various ministries, agencies, all Coastal States & Union Territories meets annually to discuss policy issues, formulate guidelines & procedures and assess the efficacy of National Search and Rescue Plan. Amongst the dignitaries, Dr Sanjeev Ranjan, Secratary, Min of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Shri Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, Department of Fisheries graced the inaugural session.
In his inaugural address, the Chairman, NMSARB highlighted various initiatives of Indian Coast Guard in coordination with other stakeholders for improving the Search and Rescue effectiveness within the 4.6 million sq km vast Indian Search & Rescue Region.
He also informed that MoD, GoI has accorded Approval-in-Principal (AIP) for setting up of 29 additional Maritime rescue Sub Centres (MRSCs) to augment Search and Rescue services. The Chairman stated that ICG has been designated as the Indian implementing agency for SAR in Indian Ocean Rim Ocean Association (IORA) by GoI. Further, MoD, GoI has also nominated ICG as the nodal Agency for SAR in the Indo-Pacific Region.
Dr Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary, Min of Ports, Shipping and Waterways lauded the role of NMSAR Board and stated that the Board is a National forum which has been working towards ensuring safe seas for the mariners transiting the Indian Search and Rescue Region and also the fishermen in Indian EEZ. He said that all agencies need to work together under a common umbrella to meet the national goal of providing safe and secure seas around the Indian Peninsula.
Shri Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, during his address, appreciated leading role of ICG in spreading life safety awareness and assistance bestowed to fishermen during recent years.
He said ICG has been partnering with the fishing community through the ‘Community Interaction Programmes’ conducted regularly in the coastal fishing villages to educate them about the importance of lifesaving appliances and survival skills at sea. He informed that the Ministry of Fisheries has also taken initiatives to support the fishers at sea, by providing safety gears through various Central Government schemes.
Apart from deliberations on various maritime safety issues and identifying areas of improvement of Search and Rescue services, presentations were given by representative of ISRO, IMD, Gujrat State Fisheries, Tamilnadu State Fisheries and Kerla State Fisheries.
The NMSAR Board recognises the SAR efforts of merchant mariners, Govt. Owned Vessels, Ashore unit and Fishermen every year. During the ceremony, SAR award for the year 2019-20 and 2020-21 were conferred to winners under different categories.
MV Navdhenu Purna was awarded SAR award for “Merchant Vessel 2019-20” for saving 98 precious lives from various boats during inclement weather at sea and OSV Colonel SP Wahi was awarded SAR award for “Merchant Vessel 2019-20” for saving 16 lives from distressed fishing boat Dev Sandesh. SAR Award for “Fisherman 2019-20” was awarded to Shri Gilbert Savpedru Netoghar from Maharashtra for saving 11 lives from a distressed fishing boat IFB Laxmi Sai-V. SAR Award for “Government Owned Unit 2019-20” was awarded to MV Lakshadweep Sea for saving 03 lives from IFB Sayed while SAR Award for “Ashore Unit 2019-20” to Marine Police Mandva at Maharashtra for rescuing 80 passenge-rs from capsized passenger boat AL Fateh.
MV Surya 3 was awarded the SAR Award for “Merchant Vessel 2020-21” for saving 08 precious lives from distressed fishing boat Shiv Shakti due to machinery breakdown. SAR Award for “Fisherman 2020-21” was awarded to Shri V Raja Rao from Campbell Bay Island for rescuing 03 fishermen from a capsized fishing boat Manikanna. SAR Award for “Government Owned Unit 2020-21” was awarded jointly to Coast Guard Air Enclave (Porbandar) for saving 07 fishermen from a distressed boat off Diu in dark hours and Indian Coast Guard Ship Sujeet for saving 03 lives from IFB AVKM & 07 lives from MSV Messiah. SAR Award for “Ashore Unit 2020-21” was presented to Forest Department Andaman & Nicobar Islands for rescuing 03 lives from fishing boat Kokila.