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Coast Guard station to get one more hovercraft

Special Correspondent
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It would be added to the existing fleet of three ACV hovercraft

comes As a BOON:Indian Coast Guard Mandapam Station personnel demonstrating a rescue operation as part of the 36th anniversary celebrations of the Indian Coast Guard at Kunthukal in Ramanathapuram district on Sunday.— Photo: L. Balachandar
comes As a BOON:Indian Coast Guard Mandapam Station personnel demonstrating a rescue operation as part of the 36th anniversary celebrations of the Indian Coast Guard at Kunthukal in Ramanathapuram district on Sunday.— Photo: L. Balachandar

The Indian Coast Guard Station, Mandapam, is all set to receive one more UK-made Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV) Hovercraft 190 after the similar version received by the station on January 25 is commissioned into service on February 19.

Talking to reporters on the occasion of ‘Family day at sea,’ organised as part of the 36th anniversary celebrations of the Indian Coast Guard at Mandapam on Sunday, Station Commander H.H.More said that the additional hovercraft would be received by the station soon. It would add to the existing fleet of three ACV hovercraft, two interceptor boats and two interceptor craft.

He said that the new version of the craft received on January 25 would be formally inducted into service after a function at the Mandapam Coast Guard Station on February 19. The two advanced versions of ACVs were capable of undertaking multifarious tasks of surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue operation during day and night, Mr. More said.

The new hovercraft was ideally suited for shallow water operation in the Gulf of Mannar. As they could be operated even when the sea was rough, these vehicles would be used for patrolling and to render assistance to small boats and craft immediately after receiving distress calls, both in Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait, he said.

The Mandapam Coast Guard station has been providing search and rescue cover to stranded fishermen in the sea. It also repatriates fishermen from Sri Lanka to India.

He said the ‘family at sea’ was organised to showcase the activities of Coast Guard as part of the 36th Indian Coast Guard anniversary celebrations, which commenced on February 1. Family members of Coast Guard personnel and media persons were taken in a hovercraft from Mandapam hovercraft station to Kunthukal, covering a distance of about three nautical miles to give them a feel of sea. The personnel also demonstrated arrest and rescue operation.

Mr. More said that the Chennai-Kanyakumari cycle rally, which was flagged off in Chennai on February 8, spreading the message of green environment and safe seas, would reach the Mandapam station on February 12.

On the Indian pilgrimage to Kachatheevu, he said that the Coast Guard would deploy three ships, including one from Chennai, and two hovercraft for emergency services when the Indian pilgrims undertake the visit on February 23 for the St. Antony’s Temple festival. The Coast Guard personnel would accompany the pilgrims up to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). “We will also provide the emergency services on their return passage from the IMBL the next day,” he added.

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