A day after warship INS Betwa toppled at the naval dockyard here, killing two and injuring 22, the Indian Navy has yet to figure out a way to lift the ship and has called in foreign experts.

The Navy does not have a crane that can lift the 3,850-tonne frigate, which is floating in the dry dock since she keeled over on Monday. The cranes available with the Navy can lift only 100 tonne. Mazgaon Dock has a crane with a capacity of 300 tonne, but it can’t be shifted out of the premises.

The salvage operation, which a time-consuming process, will cost a few crores of rupees , said a naval officer.

Indian Navy’s spokesperson in Mumbai, Commander Rahul Sinha, said the chief of naval staff Admiral Sunil Lanba visited the naval dockyard on Tuesday and was briefed about the incident. “He also met the injured sailors in naval hospital INHS Asvini.

A few specialists are likely to reach Mumbai on December 7 and are likely to complete the initial assessment within two days.

The Indian Navy shall set upright the ship and make her operational in the shortest possible time,” said Sinha.
Indian Navy spokesperson (Delhi) Captain D K Sharma said that salvers will arrive on Wednesday to assess the damage. Rear Admiral Deepak Bali (FODAG) will head the board of inquiry into the mishap.

On Tuesday, the tilted warship was floating in water in the dry dock. “The dock can’t now be de-flooded as it could further damage the hull of the ship. Also, the dock can’t be flooded because any further water ingress through the damaged part will create further problems. The authorities are in a fix because this is the first such incident the Indian Navy has witnessed and foreign experts may have to be called,” said the officer.
The salvage operation will be time-consuming and can be done only after the specialists assess the nature and extent of damage. The officer said the casualties could have been high had the warship toppled when it was undergoing a refit, when hundreds of personnel were present in the drydock.

Source:TOI/IN