As Cyclone Tauktae builds up over the Arabian Sea, the Indian Coast Guard has ensured the safe return of 5,600 boats to the shores. Besides, the ICG alerted and safe routed 335 merchant vessels and timely rescued 6 personnel.
"As the first indications of formation of a cyclone commenced streaming in from 11 May onwards, ICG geared up its preparation towards the preventive and response measures on Western coast including Lakshadweep islands as well as the adjacent coastal state of Tamil Nadu," officials of the Mumbai-based ICG (West Region) said
The massive deployment of ICG assets towards preventive measures for the cyclone has translated into 37 ship days and 75 aircraft hours at sea till date. The ICG Remote Operating Stations are incessantly relaying weather alert messages in vernacular languages on MMB radio for the seafarers and fishermen. Navtex warnings are being issued regularly and International safety Net (ISN) has been activated to alert the vessels in/transiting through area. Ships at anchorage have also been advised to take shelter and necessary safety measures.
Port authorities, oil rig operators, Shipping, fisheries authorities and fishermen associations have been informed about the impending cyclone and a close liaison and coordination for safety of boats, vessels and fixed platforms are being maintained.
In addition, 40 Coast Guard Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs) with inflatable boats, life buoys and lifejackets are standing by all along the western coast for undertaking Disaster response operations. Medical teams and ambulances have also been kept on standby for swift mobilisation.
"The painstaking efforts put in by ICG paid dividends by resulting in no loss of fishermen life at sea as the storm crossed the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa as well as Lakshadweep islands," officials said.
The fisheries authorities of these states reported that all the boats were accounted for and safely tucked in harbour. Response operations for Tug Alliance and MV Coromondel, both off the coast of Karnataka are going on.
The pre-emptive measures by ICG continue ahead with full steam with a focus on Maharashtra and Gujarat as the Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Tauktae’ travels northwards and is predicted to make landfall at Gujarat coast on the morning of May 18.