In a bid to check its preparedness and response measures in crisis situation, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a Search and Rescue Workshop and Exercise (SAREX).
As part of the drill, a mass rescue operation was held after a mock aircraft accident.
The SAREX-16, which focussed on Mass Rescue Operation (MRO) post an aircraft accident also activated real time satellite-based distress communication mechanisms such as Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) from the aircraft so as to check the efficacy of distress alert relay mechanisms.
After receipt of distress message, search and rescue operations simulating Mass Rescue through a coordinated and synergised SAR operations was demonstrated.
Ten ICG Ships, Dornier aircraft, three Chetak helicopters, one indigenous Advance Light Helicopter from Coast Guard, one Indian Naval Ship, one Indian Air Force helicopter, one ship of Shipping Corporation of India participated in the exercise.
Besides, other resource agencies like Airline Operator Committee, Mumbai International Airport Limited, Air India, Airport Authority of India (MB), Indian Mission Control Centre(INMCC) Bangalore, Maharashtra State administration, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Maharashtra Police, JNPT and MbPT also participated.
The exercise assumes significance in the wake of recent operations like rescue of 20 crew from MV Jindal Kamakshi, 14 crew of MV Coastal Pride and others.
A total of 25 international observers from nine maritime nations – Australia, Bangladesh, Japan, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and United Arab Emirates – witnessed the exercise at sea.
Besides, members from National Maritime Search and Rescue (NMSAR) Board from various Central and state Departments, resource agencies and other maritime stake holders also participated in the exercise.