In a swift operation, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) rescued 27 Bangladeshi fishermen on Thursday (April 4, 2024), stranded on their fishing boat at sea. At about 1130 hrs Thursday, the Indian Coast Guard Ship Amogh during patrol at Indo-Bangladesh International Maritime Border Line (IMBL), sighted a Bangladeshi fishing boat (BFB) Sagar II, adrift inside Indian waters. The ICG ship launched a boarding team to investigate. During investigation it was revealed that the boat had a steering gear breakdown for the last two days and had been adrift since then, which led to the boat drifting inside Indian waters. The BFB had 27 crew/fishermen onboard.

The Indian Coast Guard technical team tried to identify and rectify the defect, but it was observed that the rudder of the boat was completely damaged and could not be repaired at sea. As the sea state and weather conditions were conducive, it was decided that the distressed boat will be towed to the Indo- Bangladesh IMBL and handed over to another Bangladeshi fishing boat operating across IMBL or to Bangladesh Coast Guard Ship, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian Coast Guard and Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG).

Meanwhile, the Indian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters at Kolkata established communication with BCG and informed them about the incident and plan of action. The Bangladesh Coast Guard Ship (BCGS) Kamaruzzaman was deployed by BCG for towing of BFB. The BCG Ship Kamaruzzaman arrived near the IMBL at about 1845 hrs on 4th April 24. ICGS Amogh handed over the 27 Bangladeshi fishermen along with their boat to BCG ship Kamaruzzaman.

The operation reflects the commitment of the Indian Coast Guard towards safeguarding precious lives at sea against all odds. Such successful Search and Rescue operations will not only strengthen the regional SAR structure but also enhance international cooperation with neighbouring countries. This is in keeping with the motto of the Indian Coast Guard “VAYAM RAKSHAMAH” which means “WE PROTECT”.