Indian, Bangladesh coast guards discuss safety, security of Bay of Bengal

Kolkata, Dec 10 (IANS) Matters relating to maritime safety and security of the Bay of Bengal were discussed in a meeting between senior officials of Indian and Bangladeshi coast guards here on Saturday, a defence official said.

A Bangladesh Coast Guard delegation, led by its Director General, Rear Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury visited the Indian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters in the city and held deliberations with its Commander, North East, Inspector General K.R. Nautiyal.

The delegation was given a brief on the operational role and responsibilities of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

“Matters regarding maritime safety and security of the Bay of Bengal were discussed in particular. During the meet, Nautiyal pointed out that standard operating procedures for the establishment of collaborative relationship and development of regional cooperation was likely to be signed during the forthcoming high level meeting between the two nations,” said the defence spokesman.

The delegation also visited Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers.

Both the Coast Guards have been closely cooperating on a host of common issues for a number of years.

The visit of two ICG ships to Chittagong in 2003 set the ball rolling for greater coordination between the ICG and BCG.

Since then the two sides have been interacting regularly and also participating in joint exercises.

As a part of capacity building, ICG has been imparting specialist training for BCG personnel on maritime subjects like maritime law, search and rescue, pollution response, boarding operation and anti-piracy, at their Training Centre in Kochi since February, 2014.

Earlier this year in August, a coordinated search and rescue operation undertaken by the two Coast Guards rescued 323 fishermen – 257 from India and 66 from Bangladesh.

Similarly, on November 11, ICG rescued Bangladeshi fishing boat Thamanna with 16 members of the crew and repatriated them safely later.

–IANS

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