The 21st National Maritime Search and Rescue (NMSAR) Board meeting was held at Kolkata on 12 October 2023. The meeting was chaired by Director General Rakesh Pal, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in his capacity as Chairman , NMSAR Board. ICG is the coordinating and executing agency for Maritime Search and Rescue in Indian Search and Rescue Region (ISRR).
The meeting was attended by representatives from stakeholders and resource agencies including Navy, Indian Air Force, ISRO, Customs, Coastal Police, DGCA, AAI, SCI, IMD, Fisheries, DG Shipping , Maritime boards, Port authorities, coastal States/UTs and other agencies, which are NMSAR Board members. During the meeting National Search and Rescue (SAR) awards for the year 2022-23 were also presented.
The United Kingdom Flag vessel MV Furious was awarded in the merchant vessel category, Indian Fishing Boat New Aparajita from West Bengal was awarded in fishing boat category, ICG Ship Sujeet & ICG Air Squardon 835 Sqn(CG) in Govt owned SAR unit category while Gujrat Maritime Board and INMCC received the award in the ashore unit category.
The NMSAR Board was formed in 2002 and since the Board meeting is being held annually to discuss policy issues, formulate guidelines/ procedures and consider recommendations for reviewing the National Search and Rescue plan. Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman emphasised on synergy amongst the stakeholders to ensure safer sea for all seafarers.
Senior digniteries and special invitees from BSF, CISF and Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) also attended the meeting. Various presentations and interactive sessions focussing on collective common objective of Safety of Lives at Sea were discussed.