Home / News / India /  Cyclone Sitrang: Indian Coast Guard rescues 20 Bangladeshi fishermen trapped mid-sea

New Delhi: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Tuesday rescued 20 Bangladeshi fishermen from the sea off Sagar Island near Indo-Bangladesh International Maritime Border Line (IMBL), the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

In a swift coordinated search and rescue (SAR) operation, ICG saved their lives after the Coast Guard Dornier aircraft on surveillance sortie of the post-landfall of cyclone “SITRANG" sighted their capsised boats and alerted the SAR team. They were rescued quickly and handed over to Bangladesh Coast Guard.

“In a swift coordinated Search & Rescue Operation @IndiaCoastGuard rescued 20 Bangladeshi fishermen post-landfall of cyclone #Sitrang. Fishermen will be handed over to #Bangladesh in accordance with the existing MoU," the Indian Coast Guard said in a tweet.

ICG had launched its Dornier aircraft post landfall of cyclone SITRANG to sanitise the area close to the coast off Odisha and West Bengal and to render assistance to the mariners affected by the cyclone.

“During the surveillance sortie, ICG Dornier aircraft sighted approx 20 persons in water about 90 NM from IMBL as their boats had capsized in the cyclone. The survivors were clinging onto the floats and debris from sunken fishing boat. ICG dropped life raft in the vicinity and remained in area till survivors embarked the life raft," the defence ministry said.

Then the ICG aircraft diverted merchant vessel “Nanta Bhum", which was in the vicinity during its passage from Port Klang in Malaysia to Kolkata, directing it to pick up the 20 persons from the life raft dropped by it.

According to the defence ministry, Coast Guard ships Vijaya, Varad and C-426 were diverted to augment SAR efforts and sanitise the area. The 20 Bangladeshi fishermen were subsequently taken over by ICG Ship Vijaya.

The fishermen were checked by a medical officer onboard the ICG ship. They will be handed over to the Bangladesh Coast Guard in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Indian Coast Guard and Bangladesh Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard, in coordination with the governments of Odisha and West Bengal had initiated pre-emptive and preventive actions as per its laid down standard operating procedure to mitigate the risk posed by impending weather/ cyclone and ensured the timely and safe return of all fishing boats in aftermath of the receipt of the first indication of formation of “low-pressure area" forecasted by IMD regarding cyclone “SITRANG".

The advisory was also shared with Bangladesh Coast Guard. Throughout the passage of cyclone weather, advisory was aired by ICG through radar station and remote operating stations.

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