Rededicating themselves to Maritime Safety and Security, the Indian Coast Guard on Friday celebrated its 36 years of dedicated and distinguished service to the nation.

Commander Coast Guard Andhra Pradesh DIG MA Thalha hosted a High Tea on the occasion on their campus here, where Chairman Visakhapatnam Port Trust Ajeya Kallam was the chief guest. The ceremony was attended by a large number of civil and military dignitaries and all Coast Guard officers in station, according to a statement issued here.

The Indian Coast Guard has evolved into a mature and highly capable maritime force with state-of-the-art ships, boats and aircraft. The theme adopted by the uniformed service for the year 2013 is ‘Focused on Maritime Safety and Security’.

The Coast Guard District Headquarters No 6, based in the city, has been constantly performing towards creating a safe and secure maritime environment. All out efforts have been made by the service to curb the menace of illegal poaching by foreign fishing vessels. In the last year the Coast Guard has apprehended six Sri Lankan boats with 30 crew off the AP coast, further it has repatriated 14 boats and 68 crew from Kakinada to Sri Lanka, the statement added.

The CG has conducted 70 community interaction programmes with fishers along the Andhra Coast during last year.

A pollution control vessel – Samudra Paheredar – was inducted into the Vizag CG fleet.

This is the only of its kind on the East Coast and is fully equipped to combat any oil pollution on the sea.

The Coast Guard proposes to activate its air enclaves in the city and Nizampatnam in the near future, the statement added.