XIth NATIONAL MARITIME SAR BOARD MEETING
XIthNational Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB) Meeting under the Chairmanship of Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan, AVSM, NM, Director General Indian Coast Guard was held at Chennai on 24 Jul 12. The Board meets annually to discuss policy issues, formulate guidelines and procedures, and considers recommendations on updating the National Search and Rescue plan. For the first time in the history of the NMSAR Board, all 13 Coastal States/Union Territories participated in the meeting, besides members from 15 other organisations.
During his opening address, the Chairman highlighted various initiatives of Indian Coast Guard for improving Search and Rescue infrastructure, services and support. He also stressed on the need for strengthening the cooperation mechanism between various resource agencies for efficiently undertaking search and rescue in the Indian Search and Rescue Region.
The meeting also focused upon various safety issues for small fishing craft and sailing vessels, non-registration of beacons, inadvertent activation of distress alerts, enactment of national SAR legislation etc.
Every year, the NMSAR Board recognizes the SAR efforts of merchant mariners, Govt owned vessels and fishermen. MSV Safeena from A&N Islands was awarded the Indian Coast Guard SAR Award for Merchant Vessel for saving 09 precious lives. Indian Coast Guard SAR Award for Fishermen was awarded to Fishing Boat Seven Star from Kolachal in Tamil Nadu for saving four lives of foreign nationals. The Essar SAR Award for Government Owned SAR Unit, was awarded to Coast Guard Air Squadron 842 Squadron (CG), Mumbai, for saving 15 precious lives from a sinking ship.
Indian Coast Guard, being the nodal agency for Maritime Search and Rescue, has rescued a total of 5481 lives by coordinating 1684 Search and Rescue missions by conducting 1504 air sorties and 1574 ship sorties, since inception. During the last one year, a total of 464 precious lives were saved, out of which 207 lives were rescued by Indian Coast Guard independently and remaining 257 lives were saved in coordination with fishermen, merchant mariners and other resource agencies. The Board commended the contribution of merchant mariners and fishermen towards saving lives in distress at sea.