The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) successfully conducted the regional Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise off Goa on Monday and Tuesday.
Being the nodal agency to coordinate maritime SAR in the Indian Search and Rescue region comprising 4.6 million sq. kilometers, the ICG coordinates all SAR missions utilising assets of resource agencies like Indian Navy, Air Force, DG shipping, DGCA etc, apart from its own ships and aircraft.
The two-day exercise comprised a workshop and table top exercise conducted on Monday and the sea exercise was conducted on Tuesday off the Goa Coast. The aim of the exercise was to improve the synergy among different stakeholders, validate and exercise the SOPs and check the preparedness of the Coast Guard and partner agencies.
During the exercise, a passenger ferry simulated carrying 200 persons and caught fire at sea. The distress transmission of the emergency beacon (EPIRB) was tested wherein MRCC Mumbai, through INMCC Bangalore got the distress message with position and vessel details and activated SAR.
A Coast Guard ship and tug from Mormagao Port reached the scene of action and doused the fire using external fire fighting pumps. The simulated survivors jumping into the sea to save their lives resulted in a Mass Rescue Operation (MRO) scenario.
Here, a Coast Guard Dornier was the first responder and accurately dropped a multi seater life raft close to the survivors in clock-work precision. Soon after 04 Coast Guard Ships, 01 Naval ship and one each Coast Guard ALH and Chetak helicopters arrived on scene and undertook MRO in a swift coordinated manner.