The police could effectively mobilise members of the six coastal vigilance committees recently formed in the district to ward off a simulated seaborne terrorist threat on Tuesday.

The police said members of the coastal vigilance committees at Kovalam, Vizhinjam, Poonthura, Valiathura, Thumba and Thiruvallam showed extraordinary diligence in combing the shoreline along with the law enforcers. The seafaring members of the committees scanned the high seas for strange vessels and even challenged a Coast Guard patrol boat. They kept in constant touch with the city police over their mobile phones.

The exercise, code-named Operation Triton, was launched around Monday midnight.

It was designed to the test the preparedness of the State police and other security forces, including the armed forces, in combating seaborne terrorist threats and infiltration bids.

The exercise tested the functioning of the recently formed State Multi Agency Centre (SMAC), a centre where information from all law-enforcement agencies are pooled, the command and control ability of the Joint Operations Group (set up for tackling terrorist attacks) and also lines of communication between various agencies involved in the whole operation.

In the city, the high point of the operation was when assault-rifle-toting soldiers in battle fatigues slithered down from a helicopter which hovered over the Taj Residency Hotel opposite the City Police Commissioner’s Office. It was an exercise intended to flush out “terrorists who had taken over the hotel.” The police provided perimeter security.