In a coordinated operation, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and its Bangladesh counterpart rescued 13 crew members on board an Indian fishing boat amidst very rough sea conditions and inclement weather, the Indian Maritime Security Agency said on Saturday. The ICG said the Indian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters at Kolkata received a telephonic message from Assistant Director (Fisheries), Diamond Harbour regarding distress on board Indian fishing boat 'Tara Shankar' with 13 crew from Kakdwip in West Bengal.
The Indian Coast Guard immediately contacted the Bangladesh Coast Guard West Zone Headquarters at Mongla and requested them to rescue the Indian fishing boat.
One Bangladesh Naval ship on patrol was diverted and one Bangladesh Coast Guard ship sailed from the Mongla harbour for search and rescue. The Bangladesh Navy ship located the Indian disabled boat with 13 crew on board near the Mongla Fairway Buoy and rescued it and the crew members Saturday evening.
"Despite very high sea conditions (against 5-6 metres of swell), the Bangladesh Naval ship took the Indian disabled boat under tow and brought to Pussur River mouth (approximately 60 nautical miles Eastward from International Maritime Boundary Line), where another about 100 Indian fishing boats were also sighted. These Indian fishing boats had taken shelter in view of the rough seas and inclement weather," the Indian Coast Guard said in a statement.
As sea was rough, all the Indian fishing boats, including the disabled boat under tow, were guided by the Bangladesh Naval ship for taking passage through riverine or coastal route Westward up to the Haribhanga river.
The operation could be executed in view of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Indian Coast Guard and the Bangladesh Coast Guard, the statement said.
"This prompt cooperation of Bangladesh Maritime Forces amidst heavy seas and severe weather conditions is the testimony of our friendly and trusted relationship between coast guards of the two neighbouring countries," it added.