Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services Current Affairs - 2020

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ICG organises 18th National Maritime Search and Rescue Board meeting

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) organised 18th National Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB) meeting in New Delhi. The annual meeting was held to discuss policy issues, formulate guidelines & procedures as well as assess the efficacy of National Search and Rescue Plan (NSRP).

Key Highlights

Deliberations were held on various maritime safety issues and identifying areas of improvement of Search and Rescue services. The meet also reiterated the need to focus on sustainable maritime safety in Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Participants: The apex-level meeting was chaired by Director General Indian Coast Guard and Chairman NMSARB K Natarajan. It was attended by 48 Board members from various ministries, agencies, all Coastal States & Union Territories (UTs). Meeting included three new permanent members to meet- Ministry of Shipping, Department of Animal husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). For the first time, three strong components of the M-SAR (Maritime Search and Rescue) – Secretary (Ministry of Shipping), Secretary (Ministry of Civil Aviation) and Secretary (Department of Fisheries) participated in annual meeting.

Awards Conferred

MV Asia Emerald III was awarded the SAR Award for Merchant Vessel for the year 2018-19. It saved 6 lives from a distressed fishing boat.

Anand A Ambhire from Maharashtra was awarded SAR Award for Fisherman for saving 11 lives from a sinking fishing boat.

Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) Sujoy and ICGS Vikram were jointly awarded SAR Award for Government Owned SAR Unit for saving 46 lives from ROSV Sagar Sampada off New Mangalore.

Indian Coast Guard and SAR operations

Indian Coast Guard is India’s nodal agency for Maritime Search and Rescue. since inception in 1978, it has rescued 9,672 lives by coordinating 3,180 search and rescue missions, which inter alia includes 2,479 air sorties and 3,540 ship deployments. ICG thus saves one precious life every second day and only in 2019, ICG also escorted over 6,000 fishing boats to safe locations during passage of three severe cyclonic storms. In 2019 alone, ICG took 300 SAR missions involving rescue of close to 1,000 lives at sea which includes 27 MEDEVAC (Medical evacuation) operations and some of rescue operations were conducted at the fringes of 4.6 million sq km vast Indian Search and Rescue Region (ISRR).

ICG has established three Maritime Rescue Coordination centers at Chennai, Mumbai and Andaman & Nicobar Islands and developed voluntary ship reporting system INDSAR (Indian Ship Reporting System) to divert ship nearest to site of incident for immediate Search & Rescue (SAR) assistance.

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IOWave18: India to participate in multi-nation Indian Ocean-wide tsunami mock exercise

India along with 23 other nations will be participating in major Indian ocean-wide tsunami mock exercise known as IOWave18. The exercise is being organized by Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. It will involve evacuation of thousands of people from coastal areas in over half a dozen states.

IOWave18

The purpose of the exercise is to increase tsunami preparedness, evaluate response capabilities in each state and improve coordination throughout the region. It is also aimed at enhancing tsunami preparedness at the community level. The exercise will simulate Indian Ocean countries being put in tsunami warning situation and require National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) i.e. National and Local Disaster Management Offices (NDMO/LDMO) to implement and test their communication links and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) at all levels of warning chain. In this exercises, Hyderabad based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) will be nodal participating agency. It will be involved in evacuation of more than 1,25,000 people from coastal communities of Odisha, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Goa in this simulated tsunami warning situation.

Background

IOC, the only UN body specialized in ocean science and services had coordinated in setting up of Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) in the aftermath of December 26, 2004 tsunami. Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC), based out of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad. It is autonomous institution under Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. The state-of-the-art warning centre is operational since October 2007. It has all necessary computational and communication infrastructure for reception of real-time data from seismic and sea-level networks, tsunami modelling, as well as generation and dissemination of tsunami bulletins for entire Indian Ocean region (IOR).

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