ICG Ships Evacuate stranded tourists from Havelock Island
The Indian Coast Guard Ships Kanaklata Barua and Rajveer braving rough seas and inclement weather evacuated about 242 tourists in addition to children in a daring operation from Havelock islands. The ICG ships were the first to carry out the evacuation.
On December 6, 2016, a low pressure developed in the South East Bay of Bengal about 160 NM west of Andaman Nicobar Islands. The system resulted in strong winds, torrential rains and rough sea conditions leading to total disruption of connectivity between Port Blair and Havelock Islands thereby resulting in stranding of tourists at these islands. The system further intensified into a Cyclonic storm on December 8, 2016 leading to further deterioration in sea conditions. Responding to a request received from the Andaman and Nicobar Administration, the Coast Guard Regional Headquarters (Andaman and Nicobar) swung into action and sailed two Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) Kanaklata Barua and Rajveer from Port Blair, on December 9, 2016. The ships braving adverse sea conditions were the first rescue ships to arrive at Havelock and immediately commenced evacuation of the stranded tourist.
The Ships departed Havelock islands at about 1330 hrs and arrived Port Blair at about 1545 hrs. The tourists were subsequently disembarked at Haddo jetty and were received by officials of A&N administration.
The surface and air units of the Indian Coast Guard were kept at standby to respond to any further request from the A&N administration.
The Indian Coast Guard remains committed in rendering humanitarian assistance to people in distress in addition to meeting their charter of duties.
- Comdt VK Vijay Kumar