ICGS Vigraha bids adieu
S Vishnu Sharmaa, INN/Chennai, @Svs037
Atmosphere turned emotional in Vishakapatnam harbour on 15 May as Indian Coast Guard got ready to bid farewell to one of its trusted equipment. Indian Coast Guard Ship Vigraha (ICGS Vigraha) was withdrawn after a long service of 29 years.
For many Coast Guard personnel it was a look at the workhorse for one last time. As they were having a glimpse at the equipment for one last time, decommissioning took place with full military honours at sunset. Commander of Coast Guard Region (East) was the chief guest for the special occasion.
The ceremony commenced with guard of honour and culminated with hauling down of the Coast Guard ensign from the ship for the last time at sunset. The ship entered into the archives of Indian Coast Guard with the ceremony.
ICGS Vigraha, the symbolic representation of the able minded warrior in the battle field was commissioned on 12 April 1990.
It was the seventh Offshore Patrol Vessel built by Mazagaon Dock Ltd in Mumbai and the first of its class among OPVs of third series.
The ship was also on dry lease to Sri Lankan Navy from 11 August 2008 to 22 January 2011 and was re-inducted into Indian Coast Guard service at Kochi on 23 January 2011. Post re-induction the ship was re-based in Visakhapatnam on 15 March 2011.
The Offshore Patrol Vessel was in service for about to three decades and during the period, the ship participated in various coast guard operations such as search and rescue, anti-poaching, pollution response, flood relief, repatriation and joint exercises with other services.
The ship while in service played a pivotal role in execution of assigned missions in the seafronts of Coast Guard regions of west, north west and east when she was based at Mumbai, Porbandar and Visakhapatnam respectively.