With simulated ferryboat fire, Coast Guard conducts mock search and rescue operation off Goa’s coast
January 25, 2023
VASCO: In what was a thrilling spectacle, the Indian Coast Guard conducted their regional Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise off Goa’s coast on Monday and Tuesday, employing the assets of resource agencies like the Indian Navy, Airforce and Directorate General of Shipping, apart from its own ships and aircraft.
The aim of the exercise was to improve coordination between different stakeholders, to validate and exercise Standard
Operating Procedures and check the preparedness of the Coast Guard and its partner agencies.
During the exercise, a passenger ferry simulated carrying 200 persons and caught fire at sea. The distress transmission of the emergency beacon (EPIRB) was tested, and MRCC Mumbai, through INMCC Bangalore, received the distress message with the exact position and vessel details, and activated SAR. A Coast Guard ship and tug from Mormugao Port reached the scene of action and doused the fire using external fire fighting pumps.
The simulation of passengers jumping into the sea to escape the blaze offered a Mass Rescue Operation (MRO) scenario. Here, a Coast Guard Dornier was the first responder and
accurately dropped a multi-seater life raft close to the survivors.
Soon after, four Coast Guard Ships, one Naval ship and two helicopters arrived on the scene and began rescuing survivors. The survivors were transported either to the ship by boats or directly to Miramar beach by helicopters, where they were received by State health officials and Drishti lifeguards for triage, before they were shifted to hospital for further treatment. In the same vein, a medical camp was set up at Mormugao Port by the State Health Department, Drishti and the Port Authority.
The exercise involved five ICG vessels, a naval ship, a Dornier aircraft, oneICG Chetak helicopter and one Advanced Light Helicopter.
Apart from the emergency response agencies, officials from the Airport Authority of India, Fisheries Department, Coastal Security Police, ISRO and INCOIS provided support and attended the workshop.