MANGALORE: Indian Coast Guard (ICG) headquarters of Karnataka at Panambur here has been busy since August 12. Reeling under unprecedented rains and rough seas condition, ICG ships and operations centre of Coast Guard district HQ in co-ordinated efforts have been able to successfully save 43 lives in various operations. These included eight lives off Bhatkal, six off Malpe, nine off Surathkal, 10 off Talapady and equal number off Kasaragod. 

DIG S S Dasila, commander, Coast Guard Karnataka referring to one such operation said, "Coast Guard Operations Centre at its HQ in Panambur received information from the district administrations of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada regarding Fishing Boat (FB) Vishwas (Registration number IND-KA-02-MM-4418) with nine crew on board, adrift some 40 nautical miles off Surathkal, due to engine failure on August 13." 

Immediately ICGS Rajdoot that was operating in area for security patrol in view of security run-up for Independence Day was diverted to the spot. ICGS Kasturba Gandhi based at New Mangalore Port was also kept standby at short notice to augment the search and rescue (SAR) efforts for the fishing boat in distress. ICGS Rajdoot on arrival at position of the fishing boat in distress provided logistic support to the boat on August 14.

Since the boat engine was beyond repairs at that moment and it needed to be towed to nearest harbour, ICGS Kasturba Gandhi was pressed in to service from New Mangalore Port as ICGS Rajdoot was required to continue on security patrol from New Mangalore harbour. While braving rough sea conditions under extreme conditions, ICGS Kasturba Gandhi developed technical snag on the steering system of the ship, Dasila said.

Accordingly, ICGS Kasturba was directed to enter the port after providing logistic support to FB Vishwas. Subsequently ICGS Rajdoot was directed to render assistance to the fishing boat on August 15 and the ship safely towed the fishing boat to New Mangalore Port under some very to very rough sea conditions. Indian Coast Guard handed over the fishing boat to its owner, Dasila said, adding the Coast Guard will continue to serve the stakeholders.