Sea Defenders 2024

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The United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) Bertholf ship reached Port Blair ahead of the ‘Sea Defenders-2024’ joint exercise.

About Sea Defenders-2024

  • It is a joint exercise between the Indian Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard.
  • Location: Off the coast of Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The two-day exercise will focus on maritime piracy and asymmetric threats, including simulated drone attacks on commercial merchant traffic, joint maritime search and rescue operations, major firefighting, marine pollution response, and counter-drug interdiction exercises.
  • The event will also witness a simulated medical evacuation to enhance readiness in emergency situations.
  • It will highlight the importance of international cooperation in addressing maritime challenges as well as the partnership between the Indian and US Coast Guards.

Key Facts about Indian Coast Guard (ICG)

  • It is an armed force that protects India's maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.
  • The ICG, working in coordination with other Union agencies, institutions, and authorities, safeguards the maritime interests and security of India, assists vessels and fisherman in distress, and protects the maritime environment.
  • History: It was formally established in 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978, as an independent Armed force of India.
  • Parent ministry: It operates under the Ministry of Defence.
  • Administration: The organization is headed by the Director General Indian Coast Guard (DGICG).
  • HQ: New Delhi.

Q1) What are Territorial Waters?

Territorial waters, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), is that area of the sea immediately adjacent to the shores of a country and subject to the territorial jurisdiction of that country. The territorial sea extends to a limit of 12 nautical miles from the baseline of a country’s coast.

Source: US Coast Guard ship Bertholf arrives in Port Blair ahead of joint exercise