1. Indian Coast Guard has once again proved its mettle in Lakshadweep islands when they successfully saved the lives of 08 personnel including one woman and two children from a distressed boat at sea on Thursday, 26 Dec 13.
2. The fishing boat MFB Mussafariya carrying 08 people departed Kadmat island at 0800 hrs on Wednesday 25 Dec 13 towards Bitra island, which is another, island about 40 miles away in Lakshadweep. the boat was scheduled to reach bitra at 1600 hrs on the same day; however it did not reach its destination. Extensive search was undertaken by local boats/ seafarers but failed to locate the boat.
3. Coast Guard district headquarters (Lakshadweep) at Kavaratti received the information about the missing boat and crew at about 2000 hrs on wednesday. a coast guard interceptor boat, icgs c-148 was sailed from kavaratti for search & rescue and a coast guard dornier aircraft was launched from kochi in early hours on thursday. during the sea-air co-ordinated search mission around the islands, the coast guard aircraft located the boat which was drifting about 20 miles north west of kadmat island. the boat had developed an irreparable defect in its engine and was drifting in the open sea. the coast guard interceptor boat was vectored by the aircraft to the distressed boat. the cg boat took all the 08 personnel onboard and provided them food, water and medical care.
4. The coast guard interceptor boat towed the boat MFB Mussafariya to Kadmat island. The boat and all the 08 personnel were handed over to the local authorities at Kadmat island at 1630 hrs on Thursday.
5. Rescued personnel, local administration and families expressed their gratitude to coast guard for swift assistance. Coast guard authorities informed that, search and rescue at sea can become much easier if all boats carry an operational distress alert transmitter (dats) and communication sets in the boats. By displaying utmost professional, the coast guard has lived to the motto of “vyam rakshamah”.
(Text & photos by Ministry of Defence, New Delhi)