India-Japan coast guards’ deep sea mock drill endsJanuary 30th, 2012 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai/New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) The Indian and Japanese coast guards Monday concluded a deep sea mock drill to counter a range of maritime threats in the Asia-Pacific region.
The 11th India-Japan coast guard drill was conducted in the Bay of Bengal. Indian Coast Guard vessel Vishwast and Japanese ship Settsu participated in the exercise and simulated a range of search-and-rescue, pollution control and anti-piracy operations.
The drill which began Sunday with a pollution response demonstration saw how coastguard personnel on board a helicopter can contain an oil spill of a sunken ship.
A vertical replenishment sortie, mail transfer and search-and-rescue drill followed.
They also perfomed a dramatic anti-piracy operation in which a hijacked ship was round off by hovercrafts and commandos on a smaller boat before breaking into the vessel in distress.
The exercise was held as a high level Japanese delegation led by Admiral Hisayasu Suzuki, Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), was on a five-day visit to India which also concluded Monday.
Indian Coast Guard Director General Vice-Admiral M.P. Muralidharan and his Japanese counterpart supervised the drill.
The visit was in pursuance of an agreement between the two coast guards signed in 2006 that stipulates that the heads of the two organizations meet alternately in India and Japan.
They discussed “maritime issues of mutual concerns and formulate a cooperative approach to address these”, a defence spokesperson said in Delhi.
The agreement encompasses issues of maritime search and rescue, combating marine pollution, technical assistance for responding to natural disasters and exchange of information regarding crimes at sea, including smuggling and illicit trafficking.
The first such exercise was carried out in November 2000 off Chennai, which laid the foundation for development of close interaction between the two organisations that included regular visits and exercises, sharing of information and expertise and training visits.
During the 11th high level meeting, the two sides agreed to strengthen the cooperation on evolving collaborative approach, in addressing a spectrum of maritime issues concerning safety and security, said the spokesperson.
“The visit was also very significant in providing renewed impetus to strong ties that exist between the two coast guards as the Japan Coast Guard Ship has visited India, after a gap of six years, for the combined exercises.”
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