Indian Coast Guard rescues 27 Bangladeshi fishermen during patrol

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In a significant development, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) rescued 27 Bangladeshi fishermen aboard a boat that drifted inside Indian waters, officials said on Friday (Apr 5).

The swift operation took place on Thursday (Apr 4) after the ICG spotted the fishing boat (BFB) Sagar II, adrift inside Indian waters during a patrol at Indo-Bangladesh International Maritime Border Line (IMBL). 

During the probe it was revealed that the boat’s steering gear suffered a breakdown, leaving the fishermen stranded at the sea.

”At about 1130 hrs on April 4, Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Amogh’ during a patrol at Indo-Bangladesh International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) sighted a Bangladeshi fishing boat (BFB) ‘Sagar II’ adrift inside Indian waters,” the ICG said in a statement.

“The boat had a steering gear breakdown for the last two days and had been adrift since then which led to the boat drifting inside Indian waters”, it added.

The Indian Coast Guard’s technical team attempted to determine and fix the defect, however, the team observed that the rudder of the boat was “completely damaged” and that its repair could not be done at sea.

”As the sea state and weather conditions were conducive, it was decided that the distressed boat would be towed to the Indo-Bangladesh IMBL and handed over to another Bangladeshi fishing boat operating across IMBL or to Bangladesh Coast Guard Ship by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Indian Coast Guard and Bangladesh Coast Guard,” read the statement.

The Indian Coast Guard regional headquarters at Kolkata in the meantime informed the Bangladesh Coast Guard about the situation and also discussed further plan of action, said the officials.

”BCG ship ‘Kamaruzzaman’ arrived near the IMBL at about 1845 hrs on April 4. ICGS ‘Amogh’ handed over the 27 Bangladeshi fishermen along with their boat to BCG ship ‘Kamaruzzaman’,” the statement said.

”The operation reflects the commitment of the Indian Coast Guard towards safeguarding precious lives at sea against all odds. Such successful search and rescue (SAR) operations will not only strengthen the regional SAR structure but also enhance international cooperation with neighbouring countries. This is in keeping with the motto of the Indian Coast Guard ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ which means ‘We Protect’,” it added.

Source: WION