Sri Lanka Coast Guard has commissioned the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), CG 60 provided by Indian coast guard last month as ship ‘Suraksha’. The ship was commissioned at a ceremony held at the Colombo Harbour amidst presence of state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Shri Taranjit Singh Sandhu and other dignitaries.
This is the first OPV to be inducted by Sri Lankan coast guard and will be the largest ship in its fleet. The coast guard will use the newly commissioned ship for patrolling and surveillance of the country’s territorial waters, humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations, prevention of maritime pollution etc.
The 74.10 m long and 11.40 m wide vessel earlier belonged to the Indian Coast Guard and was officially gifted to Sri Lanka last month. It is manned by a crew of 14 officers and 86 sailors. It is the biggest patrol vessel in Sri Lankan coast guard fleet and will aloes be used for humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.
Indian navy has rendered invaluable assistance to its Sri Lankan counterpart and the latter has ordered two navy warships from India. It received its largest warship built at Goa shipyard in July while another one will be delivered by February next year. Both countries are working closely to safeguard free navigation in Indian Ocean region.