July 17, 2019 – The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in a coordinated operation with Bangladesh Coast Guard successfully repatriated 516 fishermen along with 32 Indian Fishing boats from Bangladesh on July 16, 2019. These boats were stranded and had taken shelter at Payra in Bangladesh approximately 135 kilometers from IMBL(International Maritime Boundary Line) due to inclement weather and rough sea conditions in the Bay of Bengal.
The fishing boats were escorted by two Bangladesh Coast Guard Ships Mansoor Ali and Sadhini Bangla up to the IMBL where they were formally handed over to ICG ships Vijaya and Anmol. The boats along with the fishermen are being escorted up to Kakdwip where they will be handed over to the State Fisheries Authorities.
This Samaritan gesture from the Bangladesh Coast Guard comes at a time when the visit of delegation of the Bangladesh Coast Guard to India is underway for Annual Zonal /Regional Commander’s meeting at Kolkata.
Search for remaining 24 missing Indian fishermen is in progress by Bangladesh Coast Guard/Naval ships/aircraft in Bangladesh Waters. Besides search across IMBL in Bangladesh waters, Indian Coast Guard Ships, hovercraft and aircraft are also carrying out search off West Bengal Coast and along the IMBL.
The coordinated response between Coast Guard agencies of India and Bangladesh demonstrates mutual commitment for safety of fishermen at sea and further strengthens the bilateral relationship between the two countries.