Pollution response exercise by coast guard off Kochi coast.

Posted in: Crisis Response, Misc Water Issues
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Article courtesy of Indian Navy| December 17, 2012 | Shared as educational material
The Indian Coast Guard demonstrated its preparedness and readiness to intervene effectively in containing an oil spill disaster at the fourth edition of the National Pollution Response Exercise titled CLEAN SEA-4, conducted at sea off Kochi on 14th Dec 2012. The exercise was witnessed by  Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan, Director General Indian Coast Guard, Inspector General SPS Basra, Commander Coast Guard Region (West), IG KR Nautiyal Deputy Director General Operations Indian Coast Guard, DIG TKS Chandran Commander District Headquarters No 4, and officials from ONGC, BPCL, State Maritime Boards, Cochin Port Trust, and Pollution Control Boards.

Two Coast Guard vessels deploying an ocean boom

Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Samudra Prahari, India’s first Pollution Control vessel, Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPVs) ICGS Samar, Sangram and Sankalp, Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs)  ICGS Kasturba Gandhi, Savitri Bai Phule, Two Fast Attack Crafts (FACs) , 3 Chetak helicopters, 2 Dornier aircraft, INS Matanga, Oceangoing Tug of Indian Navy, MT Motilal Nehru, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI)  Tanker, vessels from Cochin Port Trust participated in the exercise which saw mobilization of majority of the resources available on the west coast of India.

The exercise commenced with a demonstration near harbour containment by the deployment of river booms by CPT vessels under the supervision of Coast Guard personnel. A Seavac heli-skimmer was also used in the operations. Another vital component which was exercised was the beach cleaning effort in coordination with the state administration. The outer sea oil spill containment was tested and demonstrated using MT Motilal Nehru the SCI tanker simulating as the vessel in distress. Coast Guard FACs, FPVs, helicopters, AOPVs, and aircraft were used to contain it using ocean booms, skimmers and oil spill dispersers. The extraction of oil using side sweeping arms and skimmers and storage by dracon barges were also demonstrated during the evolution.

Indian Coast Guard is responsible for marine environment protection in the maritime zones of India and is the coordinating authority for response to oil spills in Indian waters. The Force has drawn up a National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP) and has established three pollution response centers at Mumbai, Chennai and Port Blair. A robust national system for oil spill response is critical for a major economy like India, as 75% of our oil imports are through the sea. Exercises like Clean Sea-4 validates and reinforces response mechanisms and enables the Indian Coast Guard to fine tune the actions required in such eventualities by improving coordination and communication with different agencies. In response to a question while interacting with the media onboard ICGS Samudra Praharika, Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan said that the Indian Coast Guard will have more than 100 ships of varying sizes and capabilities by 2018. He also said that construction of the Indian Coast Guard Academy is expected to commence by the middle of next year.

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