Navy begins salvaging INS Vindhyagiri

SOURCE: TOI

MUMBAI: The Indian Navy has started efforts to salvage the Nilgiri class frigate INS Vindhyagiri that capsized after the collision with the Cyprus-flagged merchant vessel Nordlake on January 30.

Navy officials said they were salvaging the vessel at the naval dockyard and the process would continue over the next few days. They will decide whether to decommission it or refit the vessel only after it has been salvaged.

“We have started the salvage operation to lift INS Vindhyagiri out of water,” said Narendra Vispute, assistant public relations officer, Defence. “We will decide if the ship can be refitted only after assessing its condition,” he added.

Navy officials said if the ship is in good condition, it will undergo a major repair and refit. The collision caused a crack in Vindhyagiri’s hull and ruptured a fuel tank, which led to a massive fire. “Electrical systems will be replaced at places where water has entered. A newly refitted ship can be in the Indian Navy’s service for the next five years,” said a Navy official.

Navy officials have now sealed the chambers of the ship to prevent further oil leakage at the naval dockyard. The ship was carrying 300 tonne of fuel.

“Once the ship is decommissioned, its parts are sold as scrap. The ship can also serve as a museum for visitors. Sometimes, the parts are used in other ships,” said Vispute.The Vindhyagiri collision is the most recent incident in a series of accidents over the last several months. On August 31, 2010, an Offshore Supply Vessel – Beas Dolphin – collided with a barge ‘Nand Hajara’ at Indira docks off Mumbai coast. Also, on March 23, 2010, Coast Guard ship Vivek sank after a merchant vessel M V Global Purity rammed into it at Indira Dockyard in Mumbai.

INS Vindhagiri was commissioned in 1981 and is an indigenously built frigate. It was scheduled to be decommissioned in a year or two.

Read more: Navy begins salvaging INS Vindhyagiri – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Navy-begins-salvaging-INS-Vindhyagiri/articleshow/7456019.cms#ixzz1DSIgF9qq

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