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Indian Coast Guard rescues 27 Bangladeshi fishermen

Updated on: 05 April,2024 05:51 PM IST  |  New Delhi

The swift rescue operation took place on Thursday

Indian Coast Guard rescues 27 Bangladeshi fishermen

Representation image. File pic

The Indian Coast Guard has rescued 27 Bangladeshi fishermen whose fishing boat had drifted inside Indian waters after its steering gear suffered a breakdown rendering them stranded at sea, officials on Friday said.

The swift rescue operation took place on Thursday, they said. "At about 1130 hrs on April 4, Indian Coast Guard Ship 'Amogh' during 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 ICG ship launched a boarding team to investigate. During investigation it was found that 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 said.

The BFB had "27 crew/fishermen onboard". The Indian Coast Guard's technical team tried to identify and rectify the defect, but it was observed that the rudder of the boat was "completely damaged" and could not be repaired at sea.

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

In the meantime, the Indian Coast Guard regional headquarters at Kolkata established communication with Bangladesh Coast Guard and informed them about the incident and plan of action, officials said.

Bangladesh Coast Guard Ship (BCGS) "Kamaruzzaman" was deployed by BCG for towing of BFB. "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 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 the 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.

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