Indian Navy ship to assist Mauritius in marine patrolling

Port Louis, Nov 8 (IANS) Indian Navy’s amphibious ship INS Shardul reached Port Louis on Tuesday on a three-day visit to Mauritius, during which it will help the island nation patrol its waters, an official statement said.

The ship is currently on a month-long deployment in the southern Indian Ocean.

“The Indian Navy will be progressing maritime security cooperation with Mauritius National Coast Guard (NCG) towards ensuring a secure and stable regional maritime environment for unhindered economic development in the region,” said the Indian Navy statement, adding this was in keeping with the vision of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region.

INS Shardul’s visit is part of its mission to carry out surveillance in the Mauritius Exclusive Economic Zone with National Coast Guard (NCG) commandos from Mauritius onboard.

During the current deployment, it also escorted MCGS Victory, a ship built at Goa Shipyard Ltd, India and handed over to the NCG on September 26.

The ship, which has Commander Abhishek Kumar at its helm, would also assist local authorities in providing logistics and medical support to the outer islands of Agalega and St Brandon, the statement added.

Calls on senior government and military authorities, training and technical cooperation measures with NCG, sporting and cultural interactions, aimed at strengthening ties and mutual understanding between the two forces, are also planned.

Since 2009, the Indian Navy has been deploying ships to Mauritius bi-annually to assist in patrolling the vast EEZ of the country based on a request by its government.

The last such deployment was by INS Trikand in July.

Further, ships of the Western Fleet had visited Port Louis in September, during their deployment to the Western Indian Ocean.

India and Mauritius have very close and cordial political and diplomatic relations with a sizeable settlement of people of Indian origin settled in Mauritius.

“The visit by INS Shardul would further reinforce the cultural and ethnic ties between the two countries and contribute towards peace and maritime security in the region,” the Indian Navy said.

–IANS

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