The Indian Coast Guard have deployed one of their hovercraft to patrol the coastlines of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
The Indian Coast Guard use the hovercraft for coastal patrol, search and rescue operations, maritime surveillance and to provide assistance to fishermen in distress.
The hovercraft will also be used in 'Operation Oliva' to intercept illegal sea fishing vessels along the Odisha coast while embarking on its annual mission to protect endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles at three major nesting sites at Gahiramatha Marine Sanctuary, the Devi river mouth and at Rushikulya beach. Patrol of the turtle nesting sites will remain in force till the turtles have finished laying eggs.
An Indian Coast Guard source said 'The aim of the operation is to prevent entry of fishing vessels into the prohibited areas.'
The Indian Coast Guard has a fleet of eighteen 8000TD hovercraft to patrol the Indian coastline.