New Delhi: After the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said cyclone Kyarr is likely to intensify further into an extremely severe’ cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) said it has stepped up efforts for search and rescue operation on Western Coast.

“Dornier aircraft is undertaking frequent sortie to look for stranded fishing boats and their positions are being relayed to Coast Guard ships operating at sea,” the ING said in a statement.

The ICG said it has so far rescued 19 fishermen and escorted more than 2100 fishing boats to safety at various ports in the West Coast in the wake of the Cyclone Kyarr.

“The ICG has been issuing weather warnings since October 18, to all stake holders and fishermen requesting them to refrain from proceeding to sea and recall the one already at sea. ICG Ships, aircraft, MRCCs and ROS broadcasted messages to all seafarers in vernacular languages also to apprise them of the cyclonic weather and advised them to return harbour. Close coordination with Fisheries association/authorities, Coastal Security Group, Marine Police and other stakeholders is maintained to account the stranded fishing boats and return them to safety,”it said in a statement.

Saying that 10 ICG ships have been deployed for locating the fishing boats and rendering assistance to stranded fisherman in affected areas, the ICG said four dorniers have been tasked for area scan and to locate stranded fishing boats.

The ICG also said its units are maintaining close coordination with fisheries authorities and other stakeholders for search and rescue of missing/stranded fishing boats.

Meanwhile, the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Teg has rescued 17 fishermen from a sinking fishing boat Vaishno Devi Mata off Mumbai High in very severe cyclonic weather conditions.

The IMD has predicted that the sea condition is very likely to be high to very high over east-central Arabian Sea during next 24 hours and phenomenal thereafter. “It will be rough to very rough along and off north Karnataka coast during next 24 hours,” it said.