Dubai: Indian and UAE maritime agencies will undertake various joint exercises as part of a goodwill visit of Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS Samudra Paheredar which is specialised in marine pollution control.
During the three-day visit, the ship will undertake various maritime-related manoeuvres with UAE maritime agencies, it was announced during a visit to the ship docked at Dubai’s Port Rashid on Sunday night.
The joint exercises will include Marine Pollution Response, Maritime Search and Rescue and Maritime Law enforcement, according to the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
India and UAE are neighbours across the ocean and play prominent roles in the Indian Ocean Rim Association which the UAE is currently chairing.
“We are pushing forward in terms of bilateral relations with the UAE in a variety of spheres and defence is certainly one of them,” said Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to the UAE.
“To have [an ICGS] ship visit here and have exchanges between our personnel is something which is a very important part of [bilateral] things,” he said while addressing the UAE officials, media and prominent members of the Indian community.
Recollecting the first joint naval exercises in the UAE waters two years ago, the ambassador said: “We are hopeful that next month we will have another exchange in Indian waters and I hope that this will continue and keep up the momentum.”
He said both the navies had done tabletop exercises and are exploring different opportunities to take the partnership to the next level.
Increasing cause of concern
The ship’s commander Deputy Inspector General Anwar Khan said increase in maritime traffic has also increased concerns about oil pollution.
“With increase in traffic, there is always a chance for accidents and incidents… And for countries, where oil production is a major area, any kind of an incident that can lead to oil pollution is a cause of concern.”
The second pollution-control vessel in the Indian Coast Guard’s fleet, he said, ICGS Samudra Paheredar [Guardian of Ocean] was instrumental in tackling marine pollution in cases of onboard fire accidents and ship collisions in Indian waters.
Indigenously built by ABG Shipyard in Surat, the 10-year-old vessel is specialised in containment, recovery, storage and dispersal of oil spill.
It is equipped with state-of-the-art pollution response and control equipment, including containment equipment such as ‘Hi sprint’ booms and river booms, recovery devices such as skimmers and side-sweeping arms, and storage devices such as oil recovery operation tanks and inflatable barges.
The ship is capable of unhindered oil-recovery operations, with a storage capacity of 502 kilolitres. The special features include an integrated platform management system, a power management system, and a high-powered external fire-fighting system.
School students were given a chance to tour the ship and learn about its pollution control capabilities Monday.