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Indian Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Samarth and Abhinav visits Galle, Sri Lanka

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New Delhi. 27 Feb 24:  Indian Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Samarth with integral helicopter and Fast Patrol Vessel Abhinav made a port call at Galle, Sri Lanka on 27 Feb 2024.

During the three-day visit, the crew of ICGS Samarth and ICGS Abhinav will engage in professional interactions focusing on Marine Pollution Response (MPR), Maritime Search and Rescue (M-SAR), and Maritime Law Enforcement.

Activities include cross-deck training, meetings with Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) and maritime agencies officials, sports events, joint yoga sessions, table-top exercises, and Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the SLCG.

The visit aims not only to strengthen ties between the Indian Coast Guard and their Sri Lankan counterparts but also to showcase India’s shipbuilding capabilities, supporting the concept of “Atamnirbhar Bharat” and “Make in India.” initiatives.

This overseas deployment is in line with the Indian Coast Guard’s commitment to fostering bilateral relationships and enhancing international cooperation with Foreign Friendly Countries (FFCs). Prior to Galle ICG Ship’s visited Male, Maldives and participated in Trilateral Exercise code named DOSTI – XVI involving Maldives National Defence Forces (CG) and Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) demonstrating a seamless continuation of diplomatic maritime engagements in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The visit to Galle, Sri Lanka holds significance in reinforcing bilateral relationships with key maritime agencies of  Sri Lanka with SLCG HQ located at Mirissa, Galle, crucial for ensuring safety, security, and environmental sustainability of the seas in the region.

The deployment also reflects India’s commitment to fostering warm relations with immediate neighbouring countries, promoting friendly relations through maritime cooperation, aligned with India’s maritime vision encapsulated in “SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region” and the concept of “Neighbourhood First.”

Based at Kochi, Kerala, ICGS Samarth and ICGS Abhinav operates under the operational command of Commander Coast Guard Region (West). Equipped with modern weapon systems, advanced sensors, state-of-the-art navigation and communication systems, including an integral helicopter, both ship’s have successfully undertaken various Coast Guard operations, including Coastal Security, IMBL/ EEZ surveillance, counter-transnational crimes, and Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) and Pollution Response operations.

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