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Search and rescue exercise held

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The Coast Guard and other national resource agencies conducted a search and rescue exercise over the last three days in the Arabian Sea along the Kerala coast and Lakshadweep islands.

The aim of the exercise was to revalidate operational doctrines in a national disaster scenario where an international Airbus with 250 passengers onboard was assumed to have plunged into the ocean.

This is the third annual exercise co-ordinated by the Coast Guard Region (West) and District Headquarters Kerala and Lakshadweep. Indian Navy, Air Force heavy helicopters, Airport Authority of India, India Metrological Department (State and Central departments) participated in the exercise by physically moving assets to the area and mobilising the district administrative machinery.

According to a release issued on behalf of the Commander Coast Guard District HQ No.4, Fort Kochi, the response to the exercise by various agencies was encouraging and the lessons learnt helped the Coast Guard to revalidate the National Maritime Search and Rescue doctrines and update the National SAR Manual.

Vice-Admiral A.K. Singh, Director General, Indian Coast Guard, planned and supervised the entire exercise. Inspector General A. Rajashekar, Commander, Coast Guard Region (West), carried out the regional coordination and control.

The exercise also provided an opportunity to test the ground realities for operating the Coast Guard units from the proposed Coast Guard Station at Beypore.

State Government departments and the district administration of Kozhikode and Malappuram provided full assistance.

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