The Indian Coast Guard conducted Regional Search and Rescue exercise during 28 -29 March 2023 at Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. The aim of the exercise was to simulate a real time maritime distress scenario and highlight the functioning of Search and Rescue (SAR) organisation for a mass rescue operation. The exercise involved all stakeholders with effective use of available resources towards M-SAR (Maritime Search and Rescue) contingency efficiently.
The exercise simulated an Offshore Support vessel (OSV) carrying more than hundreds of passengers that reported a distress call of major fire onboard off Kakinada. Maritime Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Kakinada coordinated with all resource agencies to save the lives in distress. The state disaster contingency plan was invoked to support the operations at sea. External Fire Fighting of the distressed vessel, Abandon ship drill, deployment of Rescue boat, Jason Cradle, Scramble net, Life raft, life buoy, surveillance by drone, de-induction of casualty rescue by helicopter and medical management were conducted during the exercise. The ashore preparations included setting up of Incident Command Post, Triage for treatment of casualties and necessary facilities for management of critical casualties.
Sea area off Kakinada was chosen as the venue for the exercise considering the large-scale exploration and production activities in the Krishna Godavari basin which makes the area potential to emergencies necessitating large scale SAR response. The two-day long workshop and exercise enhanced knowledge and understanding, promoting cooperation and coordination amongst member agencies for a Mass Rescue Operation (MRO), wherein the efforts of a single agency may not be sufficient.