Mumbai, Aug 16: The rescue operation in INS Sindhurakshak has not only unravelled mangled and charred bodies of four officials onboard, but has also been an eyeopener for the hardships and the obstacles that the Navy is facing in the salvage operation.
So much so that the Navy is considering using some help from a Singapore-based Salvage firm. Here is a detailed report of what they are facing underneath and how they are going about it:
Boiling water: The temperature of the water below is way up the boiling point till the noon of August 14th, which prevented divers to start the rescue operations. The high temperature of the water was in many cases responsible for the melting parts of the submarine. Had the rescue operations started, ther would have been an increasing risk of losing more lives.
Jammed doors and latches: The main hinderance for the rescue divers was jammed doors and latches. Mangled ladders also added to their woes, making the compartments inaccessible. These had to be cut to get throug, which needed expertiese and skill in welding and cutting. The divers were not trained for this kind of an operation.
Zero visibility: Oil and muddy water made up for zerpo visibility, resulting is total darkness even with high power underwater lamps.
As Navy divers reached the second compartment, aftre 36 hours of labour in extreme conditions and salvaging the bodies of four officials from the first compartment, the Navy is now focussing on identifying the bodies. Beyond recognition, the charred bodies are evident of the kind of explosion that might have happened and the extreme temperature that caused the death of the officials. Gvven these circumstances, hopes fade for the survival chances of rest of the 4 missing crew members.
The scene within the submarine, as reported by the divers, speak of utter damage and destruction, especially around the control room area, further indicating the impending hardship that the Navy might have to face in locating the bodies of the personnel in the forward part of the submarine. The explosion and very high temperatures, which melted the steel in this area is likely to have reduced the bodies to ashes.
However, the navy assures that the rescue operations would not stop until the whereabouts of the rest of the crew members is not confirmed. Meanwhile, the salvaged bodies have been sent to INHS Asvini, the naval hospital, for possible DNA identification. The families of the crew members are being posted about every move of the Navy and the rescue operations.