Indian Coast Guard (Bharatiya Thatrakshak)

About Indian Coast Guard (Bharatiya Thatrakshak)

The Indian Coast Guard is the fourth service created to guard Republic of India's vast coastline. It was created on 19 August 1978 as an independent entity as per the Coast Guard Act. Indian Coast Guard is an Armed forces of India and, ICG is not a part of the Indian Paramilitary Forces. .

The coast guard works closely with the Indian navy and the Indian Customs Department. India's coast guard has a large number of fast craft including hovercrafts and hydrofoils. They patrol the seas, river mouths and also lakes in Kashmir bordering the People's Republic of China.

The coast guard has performed a number of commendable tasks of rescuing distressed personnel as well as apprehending pirates on high seas. Heavy patrolling of sensitive areas such as Gujarat, West Bengal and Mumbai have resulted in a huge catch of smugglers and illegal immigrants.


  • To protect the ocean.

  • Protect offshore wealth such as Oil, Fish and Minerals.

  • Assist Mariners in distress.

  • Safeguard life and property at sea.

  • Enfore maritime laws with respect to sea, smuggling, narcotics, shipping and poaching.

  • Assist the Indian Navy in times of war

  • Motto: Vayam Rakshamah -- We Protect

Our Motto

To protect our ocean and offshore wealth including oil, fish and minerals : to assist mariners in distress and safeguard life and property at sea : to enforce maritime laws with respect to sea, shipping, poaching, smuggling and narcotics : to preserve marine environment and ecology and protect rare species : to collect scientific data and back-up the navy during war



The Coast Guard is the principal agency for enforcement of provisions of all national enactment in force in the maritime zones of India and provides following services to the Nation and marine community.

  • Ensuring safety and protection of the artificial islands, offshore installations and other structure in our maritime zones.

  • Providing protection to fishermen and assistance to them at sea while in distress.
    Preservation and protection of our maritime environment including prevention and control of maritime pollution.

  • Assistance to the Department of Custom and other authorities in anti-smuggling operations.
    Enforcement of MZI Acts.

  • Initiating measures for the safety of life and property at sea.


In 1974, the Government of India set out to create an autonomous coast guard to protect the nation's long coast line. This coast guard was modelled on the lines of the British and American coast guards.

In August 1976, the Maritime Zones of India Act was passed, which defined the Exclusive Economic Zones surrounding the Indian sub-continent where Indian sovereignty would be applied.

On 1 February 1977 an interim Coast Guard organisation was established, with the help of the Indian Navy, which began to put into place the necessary infrastructure for a national maritime policing service. The duties and functions of the service were formally defined in Coast Guard Act, which was passed on the 18 August 1978, and came into effect on the 19 August. The Coast Guard was to become responsible for the policing of over 2.01 million square kilometres of ocean, with the stated objective of providing offshore security, marine environmental security, coastal security, marine safety, scientific assistance and national defence. The area under it's control was to include 1197 islands and a coastline of 7517 kilometres.
Begining in 1978 with two old frigates seconded by the Navy and five small patrol vessels, the ICG expanded over the following two decades to attain a force level of 52 ships and craft and 35 aircraft and helicopters. An Air Wing was formed in 1982 with Indian Navy assistance to aid the surface fleet. The first helicopter Squadron was formally commissioned in May 1982 and the first fixed-wing unit was activated in 1982.


The Coast Guard is headed by a Director General. Its headquarters is based in the capital, New Delhi. It has:

  • 3 Regional headquarters at Mumbai, Chennai, and Port Blair

  • 1 District Headquarters in each of the nine coastal states and 2 in the Union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands.

  • 4 Coast Guard Stations, one each at Vadinar, Okha, Tuticorin and Mandapam.

  • It also has aerodromes in Daman and Chennai

  • Air Enclaves at Goa, Kolkata and Port Blair.

Current Status

The duties of the Air Wing are defined as: Air Surveillance of the EEZ, Ensuring Pollution Prevention measures, Providing Assistance to Fishermen and Search and Rescue. In recent years it has achieved some major successes in anti-piracy operations. The service carries out regular operations and exercies with the Indian Navy, to maximise operational efficiency.

Future Plans

The ICG has plans for an eventual fleet of 36 light observation helicopters, 12 rescue helicopters, 36 coastal patrol aircraft and 9 long range surveillance aircraft.

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