Updated: February 1, 2021 2:43:26 am
Ahead of its 45th Raising Day on February 1, the Indian Coast Guard on Sunday said that despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, it maintained a round-the-clock vigil in the Exclusive Economic Zone with the help of about 50 ships and 12 aircraft daily. More than 10 foreign fishing boats were apprehended in the zone last year and contraband items worth about Rs 1,500 crore were seized, it added.
“The deterrence at sea and coordinated air surveillance by the service enabled seizure of contraband worth about Rs 1,500 crore and apprehension of more than 10 foreign fishing boats with 80 miscreants illegally operating in the Indian EEZ alone in the year 2020. The ‘Preventive and Measured Response’ stance of operations introduced just over a year ago ensured that more than 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,” read a Coast Guard statement.
The maritime force said that in consonance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR — Security And Growth of All in the Region — it created maritime history by dousing a raging fire onboard the crude oil tanker New Diamond carrying about three lakh metric tonnes of crude oil off Sri Lanka. The action averted a major ecological disaster.
The Coast Guard said it also provided pollution response assistance to Mauritius during the grounding of merchant vessel Wakashio, and provided pollution response equipment along with training in the island nation. The Coast Guard said it was also collaborating with littoral countries to combat transnational maritime crimes.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, PM Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal congratulated the Indian Coast Guard on completing 44 years of yeoman service to the nation.
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