Mumbai: Coordinated Maritime Exercise 'Prasthan' Tests Readiness and Response Protocols In Offshore Development Area

Mumbai: Coordinated Maritime Exercise 'Prasthan' Tests Readiness and Response Protocols In Offshore Development Area

Several ships and helicopters from the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, ONGC, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and the Director General of Shipping participated.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Saturday, December 09, 2023, 05:12 PM IST
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On Friday, the Indian Navy, in collaboration with defense, state, and civil agencies, conducted a joint exercise named 'Prasthan' in the Offshore Development Area off Mumbai. This biannual exercise aims to validate and enhance measures and procedures for responding to contingencies on oil production platforms in the region.

The exercise took place on the R12A (Ratna) platform of ONGC, situated approximately 45 nautical miles west of Mumbai harbor, spanning two phases from the early hours of Friday until late night. The first phase focused on testing security protocols for emergencies such as terrorist attacks and bomb threats from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, based in Mumbai, and also the Commander-in-Chief (Coastal Defence), West, activated the contingency plan. A Crisis Management Committee, comprising senior officials from defense, state, and civilian agencies, gathered at the Indian Navy’s Operation Centre for a coordinated response to potential emergencies.

During the first phase, the Crisis Management Group evaluated various aspects of emergencies and initiated coordinated actions according to established Standard Operating Procedures. The Indian Navy, in conjunction with the Indian Air Force, deployed anti-sabotage teams to neutralize security threats on the oil platform.

The exercise's initial phase involved actions to counter contingencies such as terrorist intrusions, bomb threats, man overboard incidents, medical evacuation of platform crew, and oil spills. The second phase focused on responding to contingencies like fires on the oil platform and assisting a disabled vessel in the offshore development area.

Several ships and helicopters from the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, ONGC, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and the Director General of Shipping participated. Personnel from Maharashtra Police, Customs, Fisheries Department, Mumbai Port Authorities, JN Port Authorities, India Meteorological Department, and other relevant state and central civilian agencies were also actively involved.

The exercise was conducted in a synergistic and coordinated manner, providing a realistic setting to assess the preparedness of all agencies involved. A thorough analysis of the activities will be undertaken to refine existing procedures and identify areas that require further strengthening and improvement.

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