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Another Navy disaster: probe ordered with four still 'missing'

07 November 2014

Nearly 12 hours after a Navy vessel on a torpedo recovery mission sank off the coast of Visakhapatnam on Thursday night, four personnel remain missing.

One person was killed and 23 people were rescued when the vessel started sinking last evening.

The Navy has constituted a board of inquiry into the incident, one of many that have plagued the Indian Navy over the past year or more.

Former Navy chief Adm D K Joshi resigned prematurely taking responsibility for the mishaps that led to many deaths as well as the write-off of expensive ships (See: Navy chief Joshi resigns after new submarine disaster).

Admiral R K Dhowan, the current Navy chief, has cut short his four-day visit to Seychelles to reach Visakhapatnam, Navy officials said.

The vessel has sunk to a depth of around 370 metres. Reports say a crack may have developed in the hull, specifically a recess called the sea chest designed for water intake, which resulted in water gushing in and sinking the ship.

The Torpedo Recovery Vessel or TRV was on a routine mission to recover practice torpedoes fired by fleet ships during an exercise. The ship, 23 metres long and 6.5 metres at the beam, was built by Goa Shipyard Ltd in 1983, a Navy statement said.

Ships with side scanning and bottom profiling abilities, aircraft with night vision facilities and four helicopters are searching for survivors.

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