Navy’s all-women-crew sail ship enters Chennai Port

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Chennai, Feb 13: The Indian Navy said on Saturday that its sailing vessel Mhadei has entered the Chennai Port.

The ship is skippered and crewed by an all-women team of naval officers for first time ever and is back after participating in the International Fleet Review.

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"All the crew members are volunteers and are driven by their passion for adventure and a love for sailing and the seas," says a naval official.

Navy says the sail boat that left Visakhapatnam on February 9 will have its next stop at Kochi (Feb 23-36) before reaching her home port at Goa on March 2.

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Navy says Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, a naval architect was appointed as the first woman skipper of Mhadei on February 8, just prior to her return voyage.

The boat is crewed by Lieutenants P Swathi, Pratibha Jamwal (Air Traffic Control specialists), Vijaya Devi and Sub Lieutenant Payal Gupta (both education officers). The sixth member of the crew, Lieutenant B Aishwarya is an engineer and is expected to join the boat next month.

Training to circumnavigate the globe next year

The women officers are training to form an all-women crew that would attempt to circumnavigate the globe next year.

This is the first all-women crew to man any ocean-going sailing boat of the Indian Navy.

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Mhadei is an Indian-built yacht that was delivered to the Indian Navy in February 2009 by Aquarius Fibreglass at Goa.

It has been part of two solo circumnavigations -- first in 2009-10 under Commander Dilip Dhonde, and then non-stop in 2012-13 under Lieutenant Commander Abhilash Tomy.

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