Colombo, June 10 (newsin.asia): The Commander of Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne graciously received the Captains of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) vessels which were deployed in Operation Sagar Araksha II as they arrived at Colombo Port for Operational Turn Around on June 10.
Adm.Ulugetenne acknowledged the huge support provided by these vessels and specially thanked India for its prompt response to the incident involving the MV X Press Pearl. The Captains briefed the Commander about their role in the Operation particularly about Samudra Prahari, which is a specialized pollution response vessel.
The High Commissioner of India, Gopal Baglay, thanked the Commander and the Sri Lanka Navy for extending whole-hearted cooperation to the Indian vessels throughout the Operation. He said that it was not merely geography that bound India and Sri Lanka in the maritime sphere, but a tradition of close cooperation in responding to emergencies such as HADR and accidents at sea as evidenced in Operaration Sagar Araksha I & II.
The envoy stated that ilateral mechanisms to appropriately respond to emergency situations in the shared maritime space is the need of the hour. Since India and Sri Lanka work jointly towards ensuring safety and security in the shared maritime space, it is important to remain adequately prepared for natural disasters and man-made catastrophes as they could recur.
It may be recalled that the ICG vessels were deployed since 25 May, hours after receiving a request for assistance from Sri Lanka Navy to douse the fire onboard MV X Press Pearl and also provided pollution control help.
The three ICG vessels along with ICG Dornier were actively involved in the efforts towards dousing the fire onboard MV X Press Pearl. Pollution Control Vessels were able to assist in the assessment of Maritime Pollution Threats and were fully equipped to mitigate environmental concerns. The combined operations by India and Sri Lanka were testimony to interoperability between the maritime services of the two countries.
Similar vessels of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard were deployed in support of the efforts to control and extinguish the fire onboard MT New Diamond off the Sri Lankan Coast in September 2020.
Over the years, India has emerged as the first responder in the region in dealing expeditiously and successfully with humanitarian disasters or maritime accidents. This trend is in line with the vision of SAGAR- Security and Growth for All in the Region and also reflects our commitment to the Neighborhood First policy.