Kolkata: Before long, a Coast Guard officer sitting in his office in Delhi or Kolkata would be able to raise a “suspicious” ship in territorial waters on her very high frequency (VHF) set and ask the crew to prepare for boarding.
He would be able to do all this using the landline telephone on his desk. The crew of the ship, several nautical miles away from the Indian coast would have no idea where the call came from. This would be a great technological leap as marine VHF sets work on the “line of sight” principle.
Technologies such as these will be discussed at the Coast Guard’s XIIth Technical Logistics Management and Ist IT conference being held in Kolkata.
“The Coast Guard has to stay abreast with advancement in technology to keep the fleet fit to float and fit to fight,” Rajendra Singh, director general, Coast Guard, said during the inaugural session.
The three-day conference, being organized by Coast Guard Regional headquarters Northeast, is being attended by senior officers from across the country. Three units under the Northeast Headquarters, Coast Guard Air Enclave (Kolkata), Coast Guard Refit and Production Team (Kolkata) and Coast Guard Store Depot (Paradip) were also awarded ISO certification by the DG during the occasion.
Even as deliberations proceeded in Kolkata, Coast Guard ships and Dorniers were out on the Bay of Bengal doing what they do best search and rescue (SAR) operations. Over the last 48 hours, the force has ensured the safe return of 18 fishing trawlers with about 254 fishermen to harbor in South 24-Paraganas and East Midnapore.
The last to be rescued were 44 trawlers that were reported drifting. “Our ships are operating in extremely rough seas. Our Dorniers are also pushing their limits by flying low in extreme weather conditions. FB Dayamoyee, a boat missing with 16 fishermen has been found adrift 62 nautical miles off Sagar due to engine failure. ICGS Anmol has been despatched to tow it to Sagar.
Our commander and IG KR Nautiyal is himself monitoring the situation. We have also got in touch with the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Bangladesh. They have assured us that if any Indian fishing boat drifts across the International Maritime Boundary Line due to bad weather, it will be provided all assistance,” said Deputy Commandant Avinandan Mitra, PRO, CG Northeast headquarters.
The weather is so rough that a high-value ocean data buoy belonging to National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) got beached at Frazersgunj. It was located by the Coast Guard and is being sent back to NIOT.