Kolkata, 16th January 2024: In a prompt and efficient operation today, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) successfully rescued 182 pilgrims who were stranded on the grounded ferry, ‘Swasthya Sathi,’ off Kakdwip in West Bengal. The incident occurred during the ferry’s journey from the Ganga Sagar Mela at Sagar Island to Kakdwip, where it ran aground due to extremely poor visibility.
The ICG swiftly responded to a distress call from the District Magistrate, South 24 Parganas, in the early hours of the morning. The operations team immediately initiated rescue efforts by dispatching two Air Cushion Vehicles (Hovercrafts) from Haldia and Sagar Island to provide assistance. With precision and expertise, the hovercrafts evacuated 182 pilgrims and safely guided the remaining passengers and the stranded ferry to a secure destination.
In preparation for the annual Ganga Sagar Mela, the ICG had already strategically deployed sea-borne units at various locations to ensure the safety of participants. A rapid lifesaving action team, equipped with a Gemini boat, was strategically positioned at the Mela site to handle any unforeseen events. Additionally, an officer from the ICG Ship Frazerganj was stationed at Sagar Island to coordinate with the state administration and oversee safety aspects along the seafront.
The successful rescue operation highlights the ICG’s commitment to ensuring the safety of maritime activities, especially during significant events like the Ganga Sagar Mela. The swift response and coordinated efforts of the Indian Coast Guard exemplify their dedication to safeguarding lives and maintaining maritime security.