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VISIT OF INDIAN COAST GUARD SHIP AT MADAGASCAR(1st to 4th February 2016)On its maiden overseas visit, Indian Coast Guard Ship Samarth, the first of its series is calling on the port at Toamasina from 01- 04 Feb 2016. The visiting date also coincides with Indian Coast Guard raising day and denizens will be able to notice this master craftsmanship dressed overall in accordance with the maritime traditions. The 105 meter Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) was commissioned at Goa on 10 Nov 15. The ship has been designed and built indigenously by M/s Goa Shipyard Limited and promotes the make in India concept. The ship draws 2,457 tons and is propelled by two 9100 KW diesel engines to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots. At economical speed, the ship has an endurance of 10,000 nautical miles and can stay at sea for 20 dayswithout any replenishment.With a complement of 09 Officers and 91 men on deck trained in varied disciplines, this ship is capable of takingmaritime challenges under all possible Coast Guard charter. She is also consideredto be an apt platform that would deliver a powerful blow in the piracy prone east African region, as she would thereafter be proceeding to the next port of call Mombasa in Kenya.

'Samarth' is a Hindi word that means "Capable" in English and symbolizes the prowess of Indian Coast Guard in reaching its allies scattered across the globe with an underlying punch line of Honour, courage & Commitment. This visit is aimed at strengthening mutual relations amidst the two nations. The vessel in the past has endorsed herself with various Security/anti-piracy operations around SLOCs passing through Indian waters and primarily around the littoral islands off Lakshadweep and Minicoy. Another feather in her cap was escorting, replenishing and eventually handing over an Indian Interceptor Boat C-405 to Seychelles Coast Guard on 21 Jan 16.She set course from Port Louis, Mauritius on 30 January 2016 and will be feast for eyes to denizens and dignitaries during her stay in harbor.

The ship is arriving at Toamasina Port on the morning of 1stFebruary 2016. The Ship authorities would be having courtesy meetings with the high dignitaries on of the local authorities in civil as well defence establishments, including official meetings with the Maritime Safety authorities of Madagascar. There will be some activities of andon board ship, in collaboration with the local authorities. Public will also be allowed to visit the ship between 0900 and 1100 hrs on 3rd February 2016. His Excellency Mr. Chandra BallabhTHAPLIYAL, the Ambassadorof India to Madagascar shall grace the occasion and visit the vessel as well. Various senior military officials from the Malagasy Armed Forces shalland possibly the Malagasy Minister of National Defence may also be paying a visit onboard.

ICGS Samarth is equipped with suitable armaments & fitted with state of art Navigation & Communication equipment, sensors and machineries. The features include an Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS), Power Management System (PMS), High Power External Fire Fighting System (ABS Fi-Fi Class-1) and one indigenous 40/ 60 Bofors Gun Mount . The ship is designed to carry one twin engine Light Helicopter and five high speed boats for Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Maritime Patrol at sea. The ship is also capable of carrying Pollution Response equipment to combat any oil spill contamination. The ship is fitted with advanced Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)making it an apt platform to carryout Search and Rescue operations in Indian Search and Rescue Region (ISRR).

The visiting ship is being command of Deputy Inspector General RakeshPAL, TM who has been decorated by The President of India with a Meritorious Medal for his enormous contribution in the field of infrastructure development for the organization. He is a professional gunner and to his credit is a vast experience of being a globe trotter.