New Delhi: The Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Samudra Prahari’, a specialized Pollution Control Vessel, is on an overseas deployment to ASEAN countries as part of India’s initiatives for Marine Pollution Response, the Ministry of Defence said on Saturday.

The ship is on overseas deployment from September 11 to October 14.

“This deployment is part of India's ASEAN initiatives for Marine Pollution Response, showcasing the Pollution Response capabilities of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and its commitment to addressing marine pollution issues and enhancing capacity in the region,” the Ministry stated in a release.

The ship is equipped with a Chetak Helicopter in Pollution Response configuration, enhancing its capabilities in this area. This initiative was announced by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during the ASEAN Defence Minister Meeting Plus meeting in Cambodia in November 2022.

During this deployment, the ship is scheduled to make port calls in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, and Jakarta. It will demonstrate the ICG's pollution response capabilities and its dedication to collaborative efforts for marine pollution response, the Ministry further said.

As part of an overseas exchange program, the ship has embarked 13 NCC cadets to participate in "Puneet Sagar Abhiyan," an international outreach program focused on beach clean-ups and similar activities in coordination with partner nations.

This visit holds significant importance in strengthening bilateral relationships with key maritime agencies, including the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre and BAKAMLA (Indonesia Maritime Security Agency). These relationships have evolved over the years to ensure the safety, security, and cleanliness of the seas in the region. Engagements with senior officials and personnel from these agencies during the visit will further enhance regional safety and security, the Ministry stated.

The visit's agenda includes professional exchanges, cross-deck visits, planning and tabletop exercises, joint exercises, as well as official and social engagements including visits to capacity-building facilities.

The visit of ICGS Samudra Prahari to ASEAN countries reinforces India's continuous efforts to foster friendly relations through maritime cooperation.

“This aligns with the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, known as ‘SAGAR - Security and Growth for All in the Region’, which seeks to unite the region. It also echoes the Indian government's theme during its G20 Presidency: ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – One Earth, One Family, One Future,” the Ministry added.