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19 -April- 2022

Indian Coast Guard trains counterparts from 17 countries in combating oil spill

Chennai: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is conducting International Maritime Organization Level I & II course for 42 delegates from 17 friendly foreign countries.

The course will be taught in southern Chennai city, which is the headquarters for Coast Guard Region East. It is sponsored by the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) division of India's Ministry of External Affairs.

Under this course, participants will be exposed to the theoretical aspects of oil-spill response techniques and a practical live demo of response methods, shoreline clean-up techniques and surveillance procedures. 

The 12-day course has been drawn up in line with the Indian government's vision to enhance the capacity building in the Indian Ocean Region, Indo-Pacific, Gulf of Guinea countries and littoral countries.

This course, which commenced on Monday, is meant to enhance professional acumen, awareness, coordination and cooperation among the countries in the field of environmental protection.

The participating countries are Iran, Comoros, Thailand, Somalia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman, Seychelles, Bangladesh, South Africa, Vietnam, Madagascar, Yemen and Nigeria. 

The Indian Coast Guard, part of the Ministry of Defence, is the designated national authority for oil spill response in Indian waters under the National Oil Spill-Disaster Contingency Plan.

Over the last several decades, the ICG has had vast experience in carrying out response activities to oil spills, off India's east and west coast and also in the Indian Ocean Region.

The most recent examples are of India's constant support and efforts in fighting the fire on commercial ships that were off the coast of Sri Lanka. In September 2020, a major fire had broken onboard MT New Diamond, which was carrying about 270,000 metric tonnes of oil and positioned off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka and the ICG played a major role in mitigating an environmental disaster. 

The ICG’s swift response was again on display when it helped combat the blaze on board MV X-Press Pearl, off Sri Lankan coast. When it caught fire, the container ship was carrying 1,486 containers of chemical cargo classified under International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG).

Among other chemicals, the IMDG cargo consisted of highly inflammable Nitric Acid, Methanol, Methyl Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide and Polystyrene beads.

Despite the best firefighting efforts, the vessel sank off the coast of Sri Lanka, between Colombo and Negombo. 

News Courtesy: Wion News

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