New Delhi: In a swift coordinated Search and Rescue (SAR) operation, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has rescued 20 Bangladeshi fishermen from sea on Tuesday.
During a surveillance sortie to the coast off Odisha and West Bengal, the ICG Dornier aircraft saw these fishermen stranded in the sea, about 90 NM from Sagar Island near Indo-Bengladesh International Maritime Border Line (IMBL). The aircraft was on mission to sanitize area post landfall of cyclone “Sitrang”.
The fishermen boats were capsized during cyclone weather.
The survivors were clinging onto floats and debris from sunken fishing boat. ICG aircraft dropped life-raft in the vicinity and remained in area till survivors embarked the life-raft.
Additionally, the aircraft diverted merchant vessel “Nanta Bhum”, which was in vicinity and was on passage from Port Klang in Malaysia to Kolkata.
The merchant vessel was directed to pick up those stranded fishermen from the life-raft.
Thereafter, ICG undertook two more air sorties to sanitize the entire area affected during the passage of cyclone, to rule out any further incidents in the area.
Coast Guard ships Vijaya, Varad and C-426 were diverted to augment SAR efforts and sanitize the area.
The 20 Bengladeshi fishermen were subsequently taken over by ICG Ship Vijaya and were medically checked for their fitness.
These fishermen are planned to be handed over to Bangladesh Coast Guard, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Indian Coast Guard and Bangladesh Coast Guard.