Mangalore, October 6: The second hovercraft, H-198 landed at Panambur beach from Mumbai wading through the sea; on Monday October 6th, to enhance the coastal security system of the Indian Coast Guard in our state. Similar to the first hovercraft H-196, another amphibious vehicle landed in Mangalore increasing patrolling capabilities across the state’s coast.
Rajmani Sharma, Commander, Coast Guard of Karnataka said, “The vehicle will patrol in places where ships do not go”.
The fastest air cushion vehicle that travels in a maximum speed up to 52 knots was built in United Kingdom. The hovercraft accommodates 11 crew members and two officers. However the team is lead by A Banarjee, Commandant of the hovercraft, who in a second attempt brought the vehicle to halt at Panambur beach.
Hovercraft will be permanently stationed in the Karnataka coast and will keep a watch on long stretch of Karnataka coast line, said Banarjee. This was the first time he has been given the task of Commandant. The crew are skilled and have undergone special training in London. He further stated that the vehicle was equipped to perform rescue operations, surveillance, and search operations.
“We sailed from Mumbai, and moved through Ratnagiri, Karvar before landing at Panambur.” He pointed that vehicle has heavy machine guns, satellite phone, navigation and radar equipments.
The hovercraft, however today encountered uncomfortable weather condition as the visibility was poor causing the delay in arrival, he told. This new fleet is the second induction by the Indian Coast Guard, which arrived half an hour late against scheduled time at 11 am. The two giant vehicles will function within few weeks.
Rajmani Sharma said that, Hovercrafts will be useful to patrol over shallow seas, soggy land, and other places, which cannot be accessed by common boats.