MILITARY / SPOTLIGHT
Southern Naval Command continued ‘OP Sahayam’, an Indian Navy exercise for undertaking Search and Rescue (SAR) and providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR) material support, over Southeast Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands in the aftermath of Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Ockhi’. Nine naval ships including frontline ships from Western Naval Command INS Chennai, Kolkata and four types of aircraft including long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8I, Dornier, SeaKing and Chetak were continued to be deployed over an extended SAR area up to 300 miles west of L&M islands and 450 miles off Kerala coast.
On December 6, 2017, based on request from fishing community, INS Kalpeni embarked six local fishermen from Kochi and INS Kabra embarked two fishermen from Kollam to join the ongoing SAR efforts and to facilitate guided search for missing fishing vessels, based on specific inputs provided by these fishermen. Both naval ships will return to Kochi post completion of the search operations as per guidance offered by the fishermen onboard.
INS Jamuna positioned at Kavaratti has provided 12,000 litres of fresh water as requested by L&M administration. The HADR material required for the island has already been delivered by INS Chennai.
INS Sharda, which had returned to Kochi for refueling has now embarked materials such as 2000 litres fresh water, medicines, food, emergency lights, petrol, portable 10 KVA power generators, tool kits, boiler suitsn etc as requested by Minicoy administration. The items will be delivered in the morning on December 7, 2017.
The swift and timely action of Indian Navy has thus far provided assistance to 187 persons at sea, besides saving 148 lives and undertaking evacuation of three bodies from deep sea.
All search and rescue activities are being conducted in coordination with central agencies.