Indian Coast Guard Current Affairs - 2019
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The Indian Coast Guard ship (ICGS) Vigraha was decommissioned at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The decommissioning ceremony was attended by eight former Commanding Officers who had been at the helm of the ship, along with former and the present crew.
About ICGS Vigraha
- Service: It is a frontline offshore patrol vessel (OPV). It was commissioned into service on April 12, 1990. It has played an instrumental role in protecting east coast of India for 29 years of service from 1990 to 2019.
- Builder: It was the seventh OPV built by Mazagaon Dock Ltd, Mumbai. It was first of its class among other OPVs of third series. It was later based at Visakhapatnam and since then it had been instrumental in protecting east coast in general and Andhra Pradesh coast in particular.
- It was also leased to Sri Lankan Navy on a dry lease from August 2008 to January 2011. Later, it was re-inducted into Indian Coast Guard (IGC) in January 2019 after which it was continuously based at Visakhapatnam.
- It played an important role in execution of assigned missions in seafronts of Coast Guard Regions where ever it was based like of Mumbai in West, Porbandar in North West and Visakhapatnam in East.
- Participated: in major coast guard operations involving humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, pollution response, anti-poaching, repatriation, joint exercises and search and rescue, among others.
- During its Vigraha has been instrumental in saving many lives at sea and also helped in apprehending many poachers and smugglers. It most prominent laurel was 275 kg silver haul.
Indian Navy and several other agencies involved in coastal defence and maritime security brainstormed over the outcome of the ‘Sea Vigil’ exercise.
Sea Vigil Exercise
Sea Vigil was a first of its kind multi-agency drill, covering the entire 7,516 km-long Indian coastline and exclusive economic zone and involving 13 coastal states and Union Territories. The objectives of the Sea-Vigil Exercise were:
- Simultaneously activate the coastal security mechanism across all states and Union Territories.
- Evaluate critical areas and processes, including inter-agency coordination, information sharing and technical surveillance.
- Comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of the measures taken since ’26/11′ Mumbai attacks.
The large geographical extent, a number of stakeholders involved, number of units participating and the objectives to be met make the exercise an unprecedented one.
The debriefing from the Sea Vigil exercise was attended by the officials of the Navy, Indian Coast Guard, central ministries, state governments, union territory administration and intelligence agencies. The feedback from the exercise and deliberations would be presented in the next meeting of the National Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS).