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INS Betwa will be made operational, says navy chief

By Ians

Mumbai, Dec 6: The Indian Navy chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba, on Tuesday visited the naval dockyard in Mumbai where INS Betwa tipped over while undocking. The navy said the Brahmaputra-class guided missile frigate will be made operational again.

The Navy chief also met the injured personnel at the naval hospital, INHS Asvini.


Specialists are likely to reach Mumbai on Wednesday for conducting an initial assessment of the damage in the next two days, navy's spokesperson Captain D.K. Sharma said.

"The Navy will upright the ship and make her operational in the shortest possible time," he said.

INS Betwa, undergoing a refit at the dry dock here, slipped and toppled over on her side, killing two sailors and injuring 14 naval personnel.

A Board of Inquiry headed by Flag Officer of Offshore Defence Advisory Group Rear Admiral Deepak Bali will look into the incident.

Admiral Lanba was briefed about the accident on Monday and the situation at the dockyard, Captain Sharma said.

A dry dock is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform. Dry docks are used for the construction, maintenance, and repair of ships and boats etc.

Undocking a ship involves its refloating.

The frigate had slipped from her dock blocks and keeled over. Officials initially said it appeared that the dock mechanism had failed.

INS Betwa -- inducted in the navy in July 2004 -- was part of Task Force 54, tasked to evacuate nationals of India as well as those from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Lebanon married to Indian nationals from the conflict zone during the 2006 Lebanon war, as part of Operation Sukoon.


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