Fishermen, two each in seven country boats, sail two nautical miles into the sea in the Gulf of Mannar and return

In a bid to foster bond and mutual understanding with the fishing community, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) organised a boat race for fishermen, as the Coast Guard Day celebrations drew to a close on Friday.

As Collector K.Nanthakumar flagged off the race near the south hovercraft station, 14 fishermen, two each in seven country boats, sailed two nautical miles into the sea in the Gulf of Mannar and returned.

The pair of Muthukumar and Sasikumar from Pamban won the first prize, Rajendran and Muneeswaran from Mandapam bagged the second prize, and Sethurajan and Dharmaputhiran from Pamban won the third prize.

The Collector exhorted the fishermen to be friendly with the Coast Guard personnel and make use of the services provided by them.

Mandapam station commandant H.H. More said that the boat race was organised for the second year to foster coast guard-fishermen relations and convey the message that the Coast Guard was ready to help the fishermen in the event of any distress while fishing in the sea.

The occasion was also utilised to advise the fishermen to abide by the laws while fishing he said adding that the boat race helped coast guard and fishermen to understand each other.

Next year the race would be conducted for sailboats, he added.

M.K.K. Thangamaraickayar of Mandapam town panchayat requested the Collector to erect a wall from the Ayyanar Temple near Mandapam camp on the west side to the Mandapam workshop in the east, covering one km, to prevent sea erosion.

The Collector assured to look into the issue.

Contests for students

The Coast Guard had organised a series of events such as drawing competition and quiz contest for students of Kendriya Vidyalaya in connection with the Coast Guard Day, celebrated on February 1.

Blood donation camp and walkathon participated by school and college students and personnel from Customs and Oil and Natural Gas Commission and fishermen were also organised.

The celebrations drew to a close on Friday with a coast guard family get-together at the Mandapam station, commandant H. H. More said.