Rajnath decorates state native coast guard officer
IMPHAL, 26th Sep: Commandant Ngamlien Touthang, the Commanding Officer of Indian Coast Guard Ship - Rajkiran (ICGS Rajkiran) was conferred with Tatrakshak Medal (Gallantry Medal) by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the “Investiture Ceremony” held at Coast Guard Air Station in Chennai on September 24.
According to news agencies, the award was bestowed in recognition of his heroic act in rescuing 22 crew men from a burning merchant vessel SSL Kolkata on June 14, 2018 in Bay of Bengal, about 90 nautical miles from Haldia.
Prelude to his selection for Tatrakshak Medal, Ngamlien has also received Commendation from Director General of Indian Coast Guard for his excellent service and impeccable character and integrity. Commandant Ngamlien Touthang has also been conferred with ‘Bravery Award’ which comprises memento and Rs 1 lakh by ABP News at the latter’s annual event called ‘Jhanda Uncha Rahe Hamara’ held at The Lalit Hotel, New Delhi on August 13, 2018. The award was handed over to him by Union Minister of Telecom, Manoj Sinha.
Being Commanding Officer of ICGS Rajkiran, he was tasked for urgent rescue operation to rescue the 22 crew men from a burning merchant vessel SSL Kolkata. He immediately swung into action and sailed with his ship one main engine non-operational and gyro compass not settling amidst fast receding tide.
Despite hostile and challenging situation, he motivated his team to stand up for the noble and humanitarian mission and they endured ahead towards the last position provided by CG Dornier. The ship arrived at the position of the distressed vessel at 0945 hrs and observed mid-portion of the container vessel on fire with intermittent explosions and dense smoke.
Undeterred by all these odds, the officer bravely and skilfully carried out various challenging manoeuvres, employed innovative techniques to remain close on the leeward side of the distressed vessel to pass the gunline to the crew abandoned in life raft. After undertaking various hair raising and daring manoeuvres for five hours amidst bad weather, engulfing flames, dense smokes and explosions, the officer and his men finally picked up all 22 crew safely.
Besides this operation, the officer has always been at the forefront of other successful rescue operations undertaken by the ship. While he was Executive Officer of ICGS Rajkiran, the officer played key role in another successful rescue operation on June 5, 2017 wherein six drowning fishermen clinging onto a partially sunken boat amidst inclement weather were timely located and safely rescued by the ship off Odisha coast. Thus, in two major and daring SAR operations amidst adverse weather conditions, the officer contributed immensely in rescuing of 28 precious lives at sea.
Commandant Ngamlien Touthang hails from Molkon Village in Saikul sub-division and is the seventh son of late Lunkholet Touthang. He joined Indian Coast Guard as Assistant Commandant in 2006 in General Duty branch. He is married to Boinu Touthang of Bijang, Churachandpur and blessed with three sons.