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Gangasagar pilgrims to be on radar of women hovercraft pilots

Press Trust of India  |  Gangasagar (WB) 

Two women hovercraft pilots are part of security cover that the (ICG) has extended over the Gangasagar site, where lakhs of devotees take a holy dip during Makar Sankranti, its DIG I J said Monday.

Deputy commandants Sneha Kathayat and Shruti Mohan Jainpur, posted at station, are from the first and second batches of women combat officers in the Coast Guard, told newspersons here.

They are from an elite women hovercraft pilots who are working shoulder-to-shoulder with their male counterparts in the ICG, the DIG, (operations) of region, said here.

Talking about her experience at the Coast Guard, Jainpur, whose father is a retired of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, said, "It is amazing, it is something that brings the best out of you."

She also explained that she will be looking after ICG security operations for the first time.

"The experience is special as it will be my first opportunity to work for security, search and rescue operations of Coast Guard at the Gangasagar Mela, one of the largest annual religious congregations in the country," Jainpur, who has been commanding hovercraft since June 2018, said.

Deputy Commandant Sneha Kathayat, the other woman pilot, joined the force in 2011 and has been serving on the seas since 2015.

Kathayat, from the path-breaking first batch of ICG's women pilots, said the provides an excellent occasion to prove a person's worth and capabilities.

"I am the first from my family to have joined the forces and enjoying every bit of the experience," the deputy commandant, daughter of school teachers at Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand, said.

Devotees from across the country visit to take a dip at the confluence of and the Bay of Bengal during the annual Gangasagar on

The Coast Guard has placed a sizeable number of its assets at Gangasagar to ensure foolproof security at the religious fest, said.

"We have stationed an offshore patrol vessel, two fast patrol vessels, three hovercrafts and two helicopters for security, search and rescue operations," he said.

Two Dornier aircrafts are also making regular sorties of the mela site, Singh said.

"The force is maintaining electronic surveillance at the We have a radar station in Haldia which monitors the entire coast of Haldia and Sagar Island," Singh said.

He clarified that movements at the mela premises were being monitored live 24 hours a day through a surveillance system, which is also a part of the

"While the 107-metre long offshore patrol vessel ICG Sujoy, with a helicopter on board, is keeping a watch on the deep seas for any threat, the fast patrol vessels and hovercrafts are keeping a closer watch at the bathing site to ensure that no untoward incident happens," he said.

The Coast Guard has also deployed a life-saving rapid action team, comprising divers with at the mela site, to thwart any threat emanating from the sea or to save people from drowning in case of any exigency.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 20:00 IST