A Kilo-class submarine of the navy was hit by a fishing boat in the dead of night on February 20 when it was carrying out special operations off the Karwar coast. As part of a naval exercise, INS Sindhughosh was practicing a manoeuvre to launch divers from its torpedo tubes to assault an 'enemy harbour.' The manoeuvre is known as 'special boat section' operation in naval parlance.
The submarine's periscope was damaged in the collision. It was at a depth of 9 metres with only the periscope above the sea surface. This is the fourth incident involving the navy's Kilo-class (Type 877 EKM) boat in less than two years.
"The exercise was being conducted in pitch dark conditions as required by the exercise pre-requisites. There were no major damages to the submarine," a navy spokesperson said. The submarine has returned to the Mumbai dockyard for repairs.
Previous mishaps of the Kilo-class submarines include the sinking of INS Sindhurakshak in August 2013, killing all 18 men on board. Also, seven sailors were injured and two officers killed in a fire on board INS Sindhuratna off the Mumbai coast in February 2014, an accident that led to the resignation of former navy chief Admiral DK Joshi.
One sailor was killed and another two injured in an explosion on board INS Sindhurakshak when the warship was docked in Visakhapatnam in February 2010.