26th Aug, New Delhi: Fishermen often have to face bad weather in the Bay of Bengal, during which their boats sometimes capsize. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Coast Guards of India and Bangladesh to enable the fishermen to go back to their homes safely in this strange situation. Under the existing MoU, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Tuesday handed over 32 rescued fishermen to their Bangladeshi counterpart.
The High Commission in Dhaka has informed about this by tweeting, “Indian Coast Guard Ship Varad, on 23 Aug, handed over 32 Bangladeshi fishermen who were rescued from sea on 19 and 20 Aug after their boats sank in rough weather, to Bangladesh Coast Guard Ship Tajuddin.” Among these 32 fishermen, 27 were rescued by ICG, whereas 5 of them were pulled out safely by Indian fishermen.
With the first sign of a ‘Low Pressure Area’ forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Indian Coast Guard alerted its ships/aircraft and all coastal units in the state of West Bengal and Odisha. The ICG frequently conducts maritime search and rescue operations as part of its charter of duties. The ICG not only provides relief to fishermen and sailors in distress, but also provides humanitarian assistance. This operation shows the commitment of the ICG to protect the precious life at sea against all odds. Such successful search and rescue operations will not only strengthen the regional SAR framework but will also enhance international cooperation with India’s neighbouring partners.
The Bangladeshi counterpart thanked the ICG for saving the fishermen safely. Most of these 32 fishermen were found swimming in the sea. They were spotted by ICG ships and aircraft on 20th August after battling sea waves for nearly 24 hours. The fishermen were in a state of extreme shock and were provided with first aid, food and water by the ICG. With India’s help, they have safely returned to their homes.