New Delhi: The Indian Coast Guard is celebrating its 45th Foundation Day on 1 February 2021. Starting with a simple start in 1978 with only 7 ground platforms, today the ICG has become an unstoppable force with 156 ships and 62 aircraft on its list and is expected to achieve a target force of 200 ground platforms and 80 aircraft by 2025.
As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, the Indian Coast Guard has played an important role in securing the Indian coast and enforcing regulations in India’s maritime zones. “We protect” means its motto “Vayam Raksham”. Since its establishment in 1977, the Indian Coast Guard has worked to save the lives of more than 10,000 people and capture about 14,000 miscreants.
Despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 epidemic, the Indian Coast Guard has maintained a 24×7 vigil in key economic zones, deploying approximately 50 ships and 12 aircraft daily. With the help of an air surveillance service at sea, in the year 2020, more than 10 foreign fishing boats worth about 1,500 crore were seized along with 80 nuisances working illegally in the Indian EEZ zone. More than 6,000 fishing boats along with about 40,000 fishermen were taken to the safe harbor during 11 cyclones last year under a preventive and thought-out process a year ago by the Indian Coast Guard. This saved the loss of sea life and property on a large scale.
In line with the ‘Sagar’ vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister – Safety and progress of all in the field, the Indian Coast Guard rescued Sri Lanka’s 333-meter long large crude Carter motor tanker New Diamond containing three lakh metric tons of crude oil which was set on fire. Work that averted a major ecological disaster. In addition, the ICG provided pollution response assistance to Mauritius during the grounding of the Merchant Vessel Vaccio and provided 30 T pollution equipment in addition to training. With this, the ICG is collaborating with maritime countries to combat international maritime crimes and enhance maritime security in its jurisdiction and in the Indian Ocean region.
The ICG held a meeting of the National Maritime Search and Rescue Board to harmonize the maritime and civil aviation search and rescue mechanisms and to validate the existing mechanisms for carrying out large-scale rescue operations SAR Exercise-2020 (SAREX- 2020) followed with this. For coastal security and intelligence coordination, a first seminar was held to enhance the effectiveness of intelligence sharing between stakeholders. The service is also working in close coordination with central and state agencies to create a strong coastal security mechanism.
The President, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Defense Minister congratulated the Indian Coast Guard on completing 44 glorious years for the nation and appreciated the remarkable role played by the service in exploring the country’s interests in the maritime areas.