As many as 19 serving officials and a retired officer of Coast Guard received honours for gallantry, distinguished and meritorious service from Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Sunday.

At the investiture ceremony held at the Coast Guard district headquarters no.4 at Fort Kochi, Mr. Antony said substantial economic activity was happening over the sea as the country progressed. “This calls for coordination and proactive approach from all agencies in the maritime domain. The Coast Guard has a pivotal role in building up synergy of efforts between all stakeholders responsible for security of our waters,” he said.

Later in the day, Vice-Admiral Anurag G. Thapliyal, Coast Guard Director General, handed over to Mr. Antony a cheque for a sum of Rs. 86 lakh as the contribution of Cost Guard personnel to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

At the award function, Inspectors General S.K. Goyal, K.C. Pande and K.R. Nautiyal received the President’s Tatrakshak Medal (PTM). Deputy-Inspector General Donny Michael was awarded Tatrakshak Medal (Gallantry) for combating fire aboard the merchant vessel Amsterdam Bridge in September 2012 when he commanded Coast Guard ship Samudra Prahari.

A senior crew member of the vessel, Pradhan Sahayak Engineer Bangalan Sasi, also won TM (Gallantry) for the same mission.

Commandant A.K. Pande, then in command of Coast Guard ship Amrit Kaur, was awarded TM (Gallantry) for recovering a banned communication equipment from a merchant vessel in extremely difficult circumstances.

Commandant Rohit Vohra, Commandant (JG) Ashok Kumar, Deputy Commandant Muhammed Shahnawaz, Assistant Commandant Chakshender Kumar, Pradhan Adhikari N Raja Kumar, Pradhan Navik Chandan Kumar Das and Uttam Navik Anil Kumar were also presented TM (Gallantry) for their roles in rescue missions.

DIGs N.V. Narasimha and Rakesh Pal; Commandants Atul Kumar, N.V. Rama Rao, K. Ramabrahmam and A.K. Madhukar (Retd); and Pradhan Adhikari Bharat Singh Gusain received TM (Meritorious Service).

Earlier, on arrival, Mr. Antony inspected a Guard of Honour. Dominic Presentation, MLA; Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command; and senior Coast Guard officials were present.

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