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Coast Guards of India, Japan hold joint exercises on responding to distress in real-time

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The Coast Guards of India and Japan held a joint exercise of responding in real-time, rescuing the crew of a distressed vessel off the coast of Chennai on Friday. The joint exercise code-named ‘Sahyog Kaijin’ on the Bay of Bengal saw the ICGS Shaurya and JCGS Yashima, equipped with advanced equipment, rush swiftly to rescue the crew of MT Matsyadristi and MV Anveshika involved in a simulated collision that resulted in a fire onboard the MT Matsyadristi as well as a crude oil slick.

Immediately after receiving the distress call, fast patrol vessels ICGS Annie Besant and ICGS Rani Abbakka surged forward to commence the rescue operation. But before the vessels arrived, two Dornier aircraft flew over the sea to pin the location (GPS coordinates of the spot) to enable rescue ships to reach the accurate destination. As the crew was evacuated for a medical emergency, the coast guard ships used their firefighting equipment to douse the flames.

Apart from small rescue boats, remote-controlled buoys were used to rescue the last man in the sea. The men displayed their prowess in containing the oil spill and mitigating the pollution caused. ICGS Shaunak, ICGS Sujay and ICGS Samudra Paheredar, and two Chetak helicopters were also involved in the joint exercise.

After the successful completion of the rescue and mitigation operations, the participating units entered the harbour in a sequence. The ICGS Shaurya and JCGS Yashima were involved in a joint training exercise from January 8, focusing on pollution response training on hazardous and noxious substances to combat maritime pollution at sea.

The joint exercise today encompassed maritime law enforcement, search and rescue and pollution response at sea. The joint exercise was reviewed by Inspector General Donny Michael, Commander of Coast Guard Region (East).

The Commanding Officer of the JCGS Yashima, Captain Yuichi Motoyama, held a meeting with the IG to strengthen the bilateral cooperation by sharing expertise and discussing best practices. The association between the two agencies dated back to a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) signed in 2006 for joint training, professional exchange, and cultural interaction between the coast guards of both countries. “We generally focus on humanitarian and environmental action. Both agencies gained a lot through the other’s experience and expertise,” IG Donny Michael told reporters later.

“The joint exercises confirm that the cooperation between the two nations should be strengthened. I can see the high morale on both the sides,” Captain Yuichi Motoyama said.

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