‘Samudra Paharadar’ to be stationed at Visakhapatnam

The Coast Guard will soon acquire a dedicated Pollution Control Vessel to handle oil spills in the Bay of Bengal.

The vessel, weighing 4,000 tonnes, is 100 metres long and will have on board advanced pollution control and management equipment. It will be the first of its kind in Asia, Inspector-General Satya Prakash Sharma, Commander, Coast Guard (Region East), said on Friday.

The ‘Samudra Paharadar’ will be stationed at Visakhapatnam because of berthing problems in Chennai. “We have a similar vessel stationed in Mumbai. It is basically to mitigate any oil spill in the Bay of Bengal. We have trained manpower ready to be deployed on the vessel.

In case of an oil spill, the vessel will contain it, recover the oil using skimmers and dispose it of in accordance with prescribed standards.”

Besides conventional methods of detecting an oil spill, Mr. Sharma said Dornier aircraft had been installed with Forward Looking Infra Red Equipment (FLIR). A vessel built by the ABG Shipyard, Surat, will arrive in Chennai on August 21.

Mr. Sharma said that the force would also acquire an Emergency Towing Vessel to rescue ships with engine failure.

ETVs had been procured by the Ministry of Shipping and given to the Coast Guard for deployment during exigencies. The ETV earmarked for Region East would also be deployed at Visakhapatnam.

Earlier, Mr. Sharms addressed a brainstorming session organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Chennai Chapter of Indian Maritime Foundation to mark the unveiling of International Search and Rescue Facilitation Organisation (INSARFO).

He underlined the need for mortuary facility on board ships.

“None of our ships have a mortuary on board. Though our focus is on rescuing victims alive, we have no place to keep bodies if anyone is found dead. A mortuary is an essential element in a ship on a rescue mission.”

In his opening remarks Commodore (Retd.) S. Shekhar, Convener, Maritime Strategies Panel, FICCI, said the Tamil Nadu coastline that extended to more than 1000 km had several vital installations such as nuclear plants located on the shoreline.