The largest off-shore patrol vessel "Ocean Shield" of the Australian Border Force arrived here today as part of the International Co-operation between the two countries, the Coast Guard said today.
During the brief visit of the ship, commanded by Superintendent Alan Champkin, various events have been planned by the Coast Guard here for "mutual interaction to develop Inter-Operability between the two maritime forces", a Coast Guard release said.
The ship was one of the several Australian vessels that took part in the massive search of the Malaysian Airlines MH370 which went missing after it began its journey to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board and 12 crew, the release said.
The vessel can achieve a maximum speed of 16 knots with a displacement of 8,500 tonnes and is equipped with a helipad on the bow of the ship.
The ship has 16 officials and 36 sailors.Upon arrival of the ship, the Coast Guard organised a warm welcome ceremony in the traditional way.
The Coast Guard headed by Additional Director General, Murthy and Australian Border Force, Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg held discussions for mutual cooperation on issues concerning co-operation on SAR (Search and Rescue), mutual sharing of information on maritime challenges and joint efforts.
Australian Border Force personnel were briefed about the functions of Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre and Remote Operation Station by Coast Guard officials at Chennai Port which would be reciprocated by visit of Coast Guard crew on-board Ocean Shield, the release said.