Vajra retires from service

Coast guard ship served for thirty years

By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 21.02.18
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Off sea: Indian coast guard ship Vajra being decommissioned with military honours. Telegraph picture 

Paradip: The Indian coast guard ship Vajra, which rendered three decades of service in maritime security, was decommissioned on Tuesday with full military honours at a ceremony in Paradip.

"The ship had an illustrious service spanning 30 years. We bid farewell to it for its yeomen service," said Paradip coast guard commandant Ashis.

During the ceremony, a guard of honour was paraded and at sunset, the coast guard ensign was hauled down on the ship for the last time.

Soon after, as is the tradition when a ship is decommissioned, the decommissioning pennant, which is equal to the length of the ship, was lowered.

A number of officers and sailors who had served on the board attended the programme.

Various civil and military dignitaries, besides the officials of Paradip Port Trust, also attended.

Inspector-general, Coast Guard, K.S. Sheoran, who presided over the programme, highlighted the contribution made by the vessel to ensure maritime security along the northeast coastal waters.

The coast guard has embarked on a major capacity-building programme and is inducting a number of ships and aircraft for further infrastructure facelift.

Named after the weapon of Lord Indra, Vajra was commissioned on December 22, 1988. It was inducted into Paradip coast guard on April 11, 2013. During its lifespan, the ship sailed for 52,966 hours at sea and covered a total distance of 5,24,299 nautical miles.

Built by the Mumbai-based Mazagon Dock, the ship had numerous operational achievements to its credit, including interception of foreign fishing vessels.

It had also been successfully pressed into service in search and rescue, anti-poaching and security patrols. The ship, which was deployed in search-and-rescue mission, had managed to save 28 sea-going fishermen who were stranded mid-sea.