Mas­sive search on for four miss­ing navy crew mem­bers

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - NATION - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Four crew mem­bers of the naval ves­sel that sank off Vishakha­p­at­nam on Thurs­day night are still miss­ing and the navy has set in mo­tion a mas­sive search to find them.

One sailor was killed when the tor­pedo re­cov­ery ves­sel (TRV) went down due to sus­pected ingress of sea-wa­ter into the ves­sel’s en­gine room and aft steer­ing com­part­ment as one of the seals gave way.

Of the 28 per­son­nel on­board the ves­sel, the navy has so far res­cued 23. Navy chief Ad­mi­ral Robin Dhowan is cut­ting short an of­fi­cial visit to Sey­chelles to reach Vishakha­p­at­nam on Sun­day.

A navy spokesper­son said nine war­ships and four air­craft were scour­ing “thou­sands of square nau­ti­cal miles” in the Bay of Ben­gal to trace the miss­ing per­son­nel, in­clud­ing an of­fi­cer.

The navy has been dogged by a string of mishaps dur­ing the last two years, with Ad­mi­ral DK Joshi re­sign­ing on Fe­bru­ary 26, ac­cept­ing moral re­spon­si­bil­ity for some of the ac­ci­dents.

The TRV, built by Goa Ship­yard Limited in 1983, is ly­ing on the seabed at a depth of nearly 350 me­tres. A se­nior navy of­fi­cer said sal­vaging the old ves­sel would be a com­pli­cated task. The navy has or­dered a probe to es­tab­lish what went wrong. The TRV is a 23-me­tre long aux­il­iary ves­sel which is used to re­cover prac­tice tor­pe­does fired by ships and sub­marines.

Ad­mi­ral Robin Dhowan

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