The Ministry of Defence on Sunday informed that the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will be celebrating its 45th Raising Day on February 1.
According to an official release, the Indian Coast Guard has played a significant role in securing the Indian Coasts and enforcing regulations within the maritime zones of India.
True to its motto “Vayam Rakshamah” meaning ‘We protect’, the service has to its credit saving over 10,000 lives and apprehending around 14,000 miscreants since its inception in 1977. On average, the Coast Guard saves one life every second day at sea.
Despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Coast Guard has maintained 24×7 vigil in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by deploying about 50 ships and 12 aircraft daily. The deterrence at sea and coordinated air surveillance by the service enabled the seizure of contraband worth about 1,500 crore rupees and apprehension of more than 10 foreign fishing boats with 80 miscreants illegally operating in the Indian EEZ in the year 2020.
The ‘Preventive and Measured Response’ stance of operations, introduced just over a year ago, has ensured that over 6,000 fishing boats with about 40,000 fishermen were escorted to safe harbours during the passage of 11 cyclones last year, thus averting loss of lives and property at sea.
In line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi vision of Security And Growth of All in the Region (SAGAR), the ICG had created maritime history in dousing a raging fire onboard the ‘333 metric long very large crude carrier motor tanker new diamond’ with about 3 lakh metric tonnes of crude oil off Sri Lanka, thereby averting a major ecological disaster.
Further, the ICG also provided pollution response assistance to Mauritius during the grounding of Merchant Vessel Wakashio and provided 30 tonnes of Pollution Response equipment in addition to training.
ICG is also collaborating with littoral countries to combat transnational maritime crimes and enhance maritime safety in its area of responsibility and in the Indian Ocean Region.
To harmonise the Maritime and Civil Aviation Search and Rescue mechanism, ICG conducted National Maritime Search and Rescue Board meeting and followed it up with SAR Exercise-2020 (SAREX-2020) to validate the existing mechanism for undertaking mass rescue operations.
In order to synergise coastal security and intelligence, a maiden seminar was conducted to enhance the effectiveness of intelligence sharing between stakeholders. The service is also working in close coordination with Central and State agencies to put in place a robust coastal security mechanism.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the ICG on the completion of 44 glorious years of service to the nation and appreciated the remarkable role played by the service in pursuit of the nation’s interests in the Maritime Zones.